By MARTIN CRUTSINGER
AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON - The Federal Reserve says the U.S. economy still needs support from the Fed's low interest-rate policies because it is growing only moderately.
The Fed says in a statement after a two-day policy meeting that it will keep buying $85 billion a month in bonds to keep long-term interest rates low and encourage more borrowing and spending.
It also says it plans to hold its key short-term rate at a record low near zero at least as long as the unemployment rate stays above 6.5 percent and the inflation outlook remains mild.
The Fed again noted that budget policies in Washington have restrained growth, but it made no mention of the 16-day government shutdown. However, the Fed no longer expressed concerns about higher mortgage rates, a concern it flagged in September.