The Federal Open Market Committee reiterated its existing commitment to ongoing temporary programs involving the purchase of agency mortgage-backed securities and debt as well as Treasury securities as it once again left short-term rates unchanged at its most recent meeting.

Some mortgage market participants and observers had hoped the FOMC might expand the programs, which had lowered long-term mortgage rates for much of the year but recently failed to prevent a relative rate spike that has since subsided somewhat.

However, there also was some expectation that slight signs the economy might be starting to bottom out might discourage federal officials from making such a move.

"Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in April suggests that the pace of economic contraction is slowing. Conditions in financial markets have generally improved in recent months. Household spending has shown further signs of stabilizing but remains constrained by ongoing job losses, lower housing wealth, and tight credit," the FOMC said.

The committee also said that it expects "that inflation will remain subdued for some time."

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