Federal Reserve policy makers "revised upward" their outlook for economic growth at a June 23 meeting and decided to keep the $1.25 trillion mortgage-backed securities purchase program on track without any changes.
The Fed launched the MBS purchase program in December to lower mortgage rates and support the housing market. So far, it has purchased $622 billion in Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae MBS. The purchase program is due to expire at yearend.
The minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting indicate the members see the housing market as "vulnerable to further weakness." And they are concerned increases in mortgage rates could "further depress demand for housing and thus impede an economic recovery."
Nevertheless, home sales appear to be leveling off and they expect the economy will expand in the second half of this year. However, unemployment could hit 10% this year and remain above 9.5% during 2010, according to the Fed's revised outlook.