THE US Federal Reserve last night painted a bleak picture of the world's largest economy as it left interest rates at record lows, writes Hugo Duncan.
The central bank said the pace of recovery in America has slowed and household spending was weak in the face of high unemployment.
It left interest rates at between zero and 0.25pc and said it was likely they will stay 'exceptionally low' for 'an extended period' to bolster growth.
The Fed, led by Ben Bernanke, also said it was prepared to offer further support to the recovery should it be needed.
America officially emerged from the deepest slump since the Great Depression in June last year but it is feared unemployment will not return to prerecession levels any time soon.
Unemployment is 9.6pc in America compared with 7.8pc in Britain.
It came amid growing fears over the strength of the recovery in the UK. …