By Maximilian Clarke

The US Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee- roughly equivalent to the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee- convened yesterday, voting to retain packages to support the US economy outlined in September.

The fate of markets across the world is closely tied to the state of the world’s biggest economy, which continues to face challenges.

Chief concerns include no sign of an imminent reduction in joblessness, which has more than doubled since 2008 to hit record highs nearing 10%. Investment in infrastructure and in business properties also remain muted, further adding to the country’s- and by proxy, the global- economy.

More positively, inflation is forecast to remain stable, whilst the US has reported an overall increase in business investment. Further, commodity and energy prices have eased back from their peaks, reducing the strain on increasingly tightened spending power.

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