The Federal Open Market Committee decided today unanimously to leave its benchmark interest rates unchanged at the current target range between 0% and 0.25%, where the Feds signaled that the economy is improving gradually amid the moderate improvement in consumer spending and overall manufacturing activities across the country.

In fact the Committee confirmed that overall conditions in the labor market are enhancing gradually while that a continuous expansion is witnessed within the household spending and business investment in equipment and software but that investment in nonresidential structures is still weak, and the housing sector continues to be depressed.

Moreover the Committee decided today to continue expanding its holdings of securities as announced in November. In particular, the Committee is maintaining its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its securities holdings and intends to purchase $600 billion of longer-term Treasury securities by the end of the second quarter of 2011