The Federal Reserve will keep stimulating the U.S. economy through a $85 billion bond-buying program, the Federal Open Market Committee announced Wednesday.
"Conditions in the job market today are still far from what all of us would like to see," Chairman Ben Bernanke said at a news conference shortly after the statement was released.
Wednesday's announcement came as a surprise to many economic analysts and caused the Dow Jones industrial average to hit an all-time high this afternoon.
The Fed says it will hold off on cutting the stimulus program until it sees more conclusive evidence the economic recovery is sustainable.
It will also continue to keep short-term interest rates low until the unemployment rate lowers.
The Fed also slightly lowered its economic growth forecasts for this year and next year.