The Federal Reserve is keeping key interest rates at historic lows and tapering another $10 billion from economic stimulus measures. 

The central bank is easing its monthly securities purchases to $55 billion.The federal funds rate remains at zero to a quarter percent.  

A statement from the Fed says a brutal winter took a bite out of economic activity.  

It also points out that the unemployment rate is declining, but remains elevated.  

The Fed said it still expects to keep interest rates at rock-bottom levels well past the time that the unemployment rate falls below 6.5 percent.

By keeping interest rates low, the Fed is giving the economy a big boost. When interest rates are low businesses and individuals cannot only refinance existing debt, but they can also borrow more money.