Fed ready to keep rates near zero until 2022

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday kept interest rates near zero and said it plans to keep them until 2022 if not longer.

With policymakers predicting gross domestic product will plunge 6-1/2 percent this year and unemployment will sit around 9 percent at the end of the year, Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell says the Fed is ready to give this economy all the help it needs.

"We're not thinking about raising rates. We're not even thinking about thinking about raising rates. So what we're thinking about is providing support for this economy. We do think this is going to take some time. I think most forecasters believe that."

And that's why along with predicting rates will stay near zero for longer, the Fed announced plans to keep on gobbling up bonds at around $120 billion a month to prime the pump of the economy - by providing money to lenders - until this precarious season comes to an end.

But there are signs that a recession that officially began in February may already be loosening its grip.

Hiring roared back in the month of May as local economies re-opened and people went back to work....

Powell, however, did not want to put too much faith in just a single month's numbers.

"It would be great if we got a whole bunch more months of job creation like that. Not withstanding, that as I mentioned there is just a lot of people who are unemployed and it's quite likely that they'll be a significant group even after a lot of strong job growth they will be struggling to find jobs and we will still be providing strong accommodation for that.

And the Fed hopes the White House and Congress won't forget about the 21 million Americans still out of work, people the central bank believes will need even more economic support going forward.