Federal Reserve leaves rates unchanged

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks at a press conference following the Federal Open Market Committee's March meeting, in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

March 20 (UPI) — The Federal Reserve chose not to raise its benchmark interest rate Wednesday and said it doesn’t plan to hike rates for the rest of the year.

The Fed’s second announcement of 2019 kept the rate at 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent.

“In light of global economic and financial developments and muted inflation pressures, the Committee will be patient as it determines what future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate may be appropriate to support these outcomes,” the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee statement said.

In December, the FOMC indicated it would raise rates twice in 2019, but at the end of this week’s two-day meeting, officials appeared prepared not to issue any hikes this year. The Fed expects one hike in 2020.

Until Wednesday, the Fed had been hiking rates every other meeting since December 2017 amid a strong economic outlook. That outlook has become murkier in recent months, though with a slowing global economy and inflation.


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