Federal Reserve sees rates near zero at least through 2023

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve expects to keep its benchmark interest rate pegged near zero at least through 2023 as it strives to accelerate economic growth and drive down the unemployment rate.

The Fed’s has kept its benchmark short-term rate at nearly zero since the coronavirus pandemic intensified in March.

The Fed’s benchmark interest rate influences borrowing costs for homebuyers, credit card users, and businesses. Fed chair Jay Powell said the economy has recovered faster than expected, but a full recovery still depends on the ability of the U.S. to get control of the virus.

Fed policymakers hope an extended period of low interest rates will encourage more borrowing and spending.