The US Federal Reserve has kept America's vast money printing drive at full throttle as it waits for signs of sustained improvements in the world's biggest economy.
Policymakers held off from tapering America's 85 billion US dollar (£53 billion) a month quantitative easing (QE) programme and voted to maintain interest rates as it revealed concerns over a recent slowdown in the country's housing market recovery.
The Fed's rate-setting committee said the economy continued to expand at a moderate pace, b ut it said it would wait for more evidence of sustained progress and "substantial" improvements in unemployment before tapering QE.
It will also keep rates at between zero to 0.25% for a "considerable time", with unemployment remaining above its 6.5% threshold for considering a rate rise.
Some market experts predict plans to wean the country off its QE fix could now be put on hold until March.
But the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wall Street fell 0.5% after the Fed decision as the market speculated that the central bank was leaving open the possibility to begin paring back its QE drive at the end of this year.
The Fed made no mention of the impact of the recent budget crisis, which is estimated to have left the US economy nursing a 24 billion US dollar (£15 billion) hit, with recent economic data suggesting it reduced growth by 0.3% this quarter.
Figures today showed private sector jobs increased by 130,000 in October, which was lower than the 150,000 expected in the market after the government shutdown impacted the US jobs market.
Consumer confidence and retail sales are also thought to have been impacted by the budget woes earlier this month, when all non-essential government services were shut down for 16 days as political wrangling in Washington left Congress and the White House unable to reach a budget deal.
Politicians on Capitol Hill reached a last minute deal to end the stoppage as well as averting the even more catastrophic prospect of America missing a deadline to extend its borrowing limit - and defaulting on its debts.
But the full effects of the crisis on the economy are not yet known.
Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said: "It seems likely that the Fed will need to wait several months before the picture clears sufficiently, meaning no tapering of the stimulus programme until next year."
James Knightley, economist at ING, added that tapering is unlikely at the end of the year, as political wrangling is expected to return to the fore with the next set of deadlines to agree a permanent budget deal.
"We may well be looking at March as the earliest possible date for a slow and steady start to the taper," he said.
Stock markets have been buoyed in recent days by expectations for QE tapering to be kicked into the long grass, with the FTSE 100 Index rising to a five-month high and the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wall Street having reached new record levels yesterday.
Fed chairman Ben Bernanke had spooked markets earlier this year when he suggested tapering would begin by September, with the asset-buying programme set to be brought to a close soon after.
But the Fed has since rowed back on such comments, saying the recovery needed to be firmer and the recent partial government shutdown is set to have put paid to any action over QE until at least the new year.
It is thought the prospect of any imminent scaling back of QE is also increasingly unlikely, given that the central bank's chairwoman-in-waiting Janet Yellen is widely expected to favour a continuation of Mr Bernanke's policy.
Like Mr Bernanke, Ms Yellen is viewed as a ''dove'' favouring loose monetary policy to boost the economy and jobs rather than worrying too much about inflation.