WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Federal Reserve predicts the unemployment rate will stay elevated until late 2015, suggesting it will keep short-term interest rates low for the next three years.
The latest economic projections released Wednesday from the Fed were little changed from September. The central bank still expects economic growth to be no stronger than 3 percent next year. Growth could improve to 3.5 percent in 2014 and 3.7 percent in 2015.
The Fed sees unemployment no lower than 7.4 percent next year and 6.8 percent by the end of 2014. The earliest the Fed sees unemployment dropping below 6.5 percent is the end of 2015.
The Fed said Wednesday that it plans to keep its key short-term interest rate near zero at least until the unemployment rate is below 6.5 percent.