The powerful Federal Open Market Committee of the U.S. central bank said Wednesday it will continue holding interest rates at historic low levels and continue buying $85 billion in debt securities every month until the unemployment rate falls.

The FOMC said it will keep the federal funds rate at 0 percent to 0.25 percent as long as unemployment is above 6.5 percent. It is currently at 7.6 percent.

Further, the rate-setting panel said it will continue purchasing additional agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $40 billion per month and longer-term Treasury securities at a pace of $45 billion per month.