The decision to keep the 30 million barrel per day quota intact indicates the cartel’s satisfaction with crude prices and its reluctance to do anything to further weaken the world economy.
Former President Bill Clinton said he is optimistic about the future because technologies can help emerging countries grow faster. The Federal Reserve said it would keep short-term interest rates near zero until the jobless rate falls below 6.5 percent. The November jobless rate was 7.7 percent. The Fed will continue its monthly purchases of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities. Members of the Fed’s policymaking committee predicted that growth would be slightly slower over the next three years, while unemployment would fall a bit more quickly. The federal government’s budget deficit rose to $172 billion in November, a sign that the nation is on a path to its fifth-straight $1 trillion-plus deficit.