(New York, NY) -- 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 6.5percent.