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Federal Reserve leaves US rates unchanged

Will they? Won't they? They won't.
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Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Capitol Hill July 21, 2010, in Washington, DC on July 21, 2010. (Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

Forget Europe's pending euro meltdown, China's manufacturing slowdown and the general economic unease spreading across most of planet Earth.

It appears that the US economy is doing just fine. 

That's the signal, anyway, from the US Federal Reserve, which today decided against cutting interest rates or doing much else to stimulate the US economy. 

The nation's employment and inflation watchdog says it is leaving short-term interest rates at near zero.

Why?

Here's the latest thinking, according to the Fed's statement released after its Federal Open Market Committee meeting today in Washington, D.C.:

“Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in November suggests that the economy has been expanding moderately, notwithstanding some apparent slowing in global growth."

Looking forward, the Fed is expecting moderate growth, with a gradual improvement in the all-important labor market:

"The Committee continues to expect a moderate pace of economic growth over coming quarters and consequently anticipates that the unemployment rate will decline only gradually toward levels that the Committee judges to be consistent with its dual mandate."

The Fed also said that economic conditions are "likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate at least through mid-2013."

So, in other words: we're on our own.

For more from Thomas Mucha on Twitter: 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/macro/federal-reserve-leaves-us-rates-unchanged