Fed will keep buying $40B in mortgage securities a month

The U.S. economy grew at only a “modest pace” in the first half of the year, and while labor market conditions have shown improvement in recent months, unemployment remains elevated, a Federal Reserve committee that sets monetary policy said today in concluding a two-day meeting.

Translation: The Fed’s not going to taper its $40 billion in monthly purchases of mortgage-backed securities and $45 billion in long-term Treasurys just yet. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has said the Fed plans to start tapering later this year if the jobs market improves substantially, and could wind down its third round of “quantitative easing” (QE3) altogether next year. Source: federalreserve.gov.