The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) has said that it is still evaluating a strategy that has lowered longer-term mortgage rates and has noted some slowing in the financial system's contraction, but it added that it currently considers economic woes remain bad enough to keep the shorter-term fed funds rate low for some time.

"Household spending has shown signs of stabilizing but remains constrained by ongoing job losses, lower housing wealth, and tight credit," the FOMC said.

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