Indicators of economic activity and employment have continued to strengthen. The sectors most adversely affected by the pandemic have improved in recent months but are being affected by the recent sharp rise in COVID-19 cases. Job gains have have been solid strong in recent months, and and the unemployment rate has declined substantially. Supply and Inflation remains elevated, reflecting supply and demand imbalances related to the pandemic and the reopening of the economy have continued to contribute to elevated levels of inflation. Overall financial conditions remain accommodative, in part reflecting policy measures to support the economy and the flow of credit to U.S. households pandemic, higher energy prices, and businesses. broader price pressures. The path invasion of Ukraine by Russia is causing tremendous human and economic hardship. The implications for the U.S. economy continues to depend on the course of the virus. Progress on vaccinations and an easing of supply constraints are expected to support continued gains in economic activity highly uncertain, but in the near term the invasion and employment as well as a reduction in inflation. Risks related events are likely to the create additional upward pressure on inflation and weigh on economic outlook remain, including from new variants of the virus. activity. The Committee seeks to achieve maximum employment and inflation at the rate of 2 percent over the longer run. In support With appropriate firming in the stance of these goals, the monetary policy, the Committee decided to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent. With expects inflation well above to return to its 2 percent objective and a strong the labor market, the market to remain strong. In support of these goals, the Committee expects it will soon be appropriate decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate. The Committee decided to continue to reduce rate to 1/4 to 1/2 percent and anticipates that ongoing increases in the monthly pace of its net asset purchases, bringing them to an end in early March. Beginning in February, target range will be appropriate. In addition, the Committee will increase expects to begin reducing its holdings of Treasury securities by at least $20 billion per month and of and agency mortgage‑backed securities by debt and agency mortgage-backed securities at least $10 billion per month. The Federal Reserve’s ongoing purchases and holdings of securities will continue to foster smooth market functioning and accommodative financial conditions, thereby supporting the flow of credit to households and businesses. a coming meeting. In assessing the appropriate stance of monetary policy, the Committee will continue to monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook. The Committee would be prepared to adjust the stance of monetary policy as appropriate if risks emerge that could impede the attainment of the Committee’s goals. The Committee’s assessments will take into account a wide range of information, including readings on public health, labor market conditions, inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and financial and international developments.