24/7 Wall St.

Ben Bernanke Official PortraitThe less things change, the more time everyone has to speculate about what might happen if things do change. As expected, the Federal Reserve’s FOMC today announced that it is leaving the overnight lending rate unchanged at 0.25% or less and that it will continue its $85 billion per month asset purchase program.

The vote was 11 to 1, with only Fed Governor Elizabeth George voting against. George’s “no” vote was based on here that “continued high level of monetary accommodation increased the risks of future economic and financial imbalances and, over time, could cause an increase in long-term inflation expectations.”

The Fed’s economic projections got a pretty good workover, though, since the publication of the December projections. The projected GDP growth for 2013 has been lowered from a range of 2.3% to 3% to a new range of 2.3% to 2.8%. Estimated GDP growth for 2014 has dropped from…

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