The Fed delivered a clear message Wednesday after its two-day meeting: Don't expect the easy monetary policies to end anytime soon.
The Central Bank's official policy statement, the first of 2013, said interest rates would remain near zero, at ¼%, and the aggressive $85 billion-a-month bond-buying program would continue for a "considerable time."
Word of the Fed's decision came just hours after a Commerce Department report showed gross domestic product had declined for the first time since the Great Recession, slipping 0.1% in the fourth quarter.
The GDP's first decline in 3 1/2 years had led economists to predict the Fed would stick to its easy money policies for the time being.
"There is no hint that they are giving any thought of backing off current policy and their current stance," Wells Fargo's senior economist Mark Vitner told Bloomberg.
"Growth has slowed and inflation is running below expectations. To the extent the Fed's decisions are data dependent, all the relevant data suggest they should continue to ease."