To keep the US economy and employment steady, the Federal Reserve pledged to keep the benchmark interest rate close to zero and continue its massive bond-buying program launched at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stressing its commitment to continue stimulus for some time, the central bank's policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) was less concerned about the risks and expressed a brighter look.

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"Amid progress on vaccinations and strong policy support, indicators of economic activity and employment have strengthened," the FOMC said in a statement at the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting, according to AFP inputs.

"The sectors most adversely affected by the pandemic remain weak but have shown improvement," the FOMC said, adding that "inflation has risen, largely reflecting transitory factors."

Even with signs prices are on the rise, the statement reiterated that the Fed will keep its stimulus measures in place until "maximum employment" is achieved "and inflation has risen to two percent and is on track to moderately exceed two percent for some time."

Some economists have raised concerns that the Fed's stance could allow inflation to spiral, and Fed Chair Jerome Powell is likely to address those fears at his press conference later Wednesday.

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The FOMC again acknowledged that the pandemic is a key factor in the economic outlook, saying the "ongoing public health crisis continues to weigh on the economy, and risks to the economic outlook remain."

However, that stance was less dire than in the statement last month, when the committee pointed to "considerable risks" to the outlook.