The Federal Open Market Committee released today the Minutes for their meeting, when the FOMC decided to leave the benchmark interest rates unchanged at the current target range between 0% and 0.25%, as the FOMC noted improvement in economic conditions.

The FOMC signaled that economic activity continued to improve in recent months, where consumer spending continued to rise during the fourth quarter of 2009, however, the FOMC highlighted that the pace of improvement in housing market activity slowed, while industrial production increased over a solid pace, while the Feds noted that unemployment remained elevated amid weak hiring levels.

On inflation, the FOMC noted that the recent rise in energy prices pushed headline inflation higher, however, core inflation remained subdued according to the Feds. The FOMC also signaled that conditions in financial market continued to support economic growth in the United States.