SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) – The Federal Reserve, looking to provide a boost to a modestly growing economy, said Wednesday that it’s unlikely to raise interest rates before late 2014.  The Fed has kept its key interest rate at near zero for three years.

So, what does it mean for consumers? WWJ Newsradio 950 spoke with Business Editor Murray Feldman.

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“The Fed says the jobless rate will decline, but only slightly, and housing is still depressed,” said Feldman.

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“So the bottom line is, rates will remain low, intended to make it easier for consumers to borrow and stimulate the economy, but it makes it more difficult for senior citizens and those on fixed incomes,” he said. “That’s because CDs, money markets, treasuries won’t be paying much interest.”

Stocks turned mixed Wednesday afternoon, erasing earlier losses, on the news.  Lower interest rates can encourage investment in stocks by reducing traders’ returns from bonds.

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