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Financial News: Fed Leaves Rates Unchanged, Drops Reference To Gradual

Fed Leaves Rates Unchanged, Drops Reference To Gradual Rate Hikes

01/30/2019 - 14:21:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - After raising interest rates by a quarter point last month, the Federal Reserve announced its widely expected decision to leave interest rates unchanged on Wednesday.

The Fed said following a two-day meeting it has decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 2.25 to 2.50 percent.

The accompanying statement included some notable changes from last month, including dropping a reference to the Fed's plan for further gradual rate increases.

The central bank also removed a sentence describing the risks to the economic outlook as "roughly balanced."

Instead, the Fed said still sees a sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation near its symmetric 2 percent objective as the most likely outcomes but also pointed to global economic and financial developments and muted inflation pressures.

The Fed subsequently said it will be patient as it determines what future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate may be appropriate to support those outcomes.

Similar to the decision to raise interest rates last month, the Fed's decision to leave interest rates unchanged was unanimous.

The next Fed meeting is scheduled for March 19th and 20th, with CME Group's FedWatch tool currently indicating a 98.7 percent chance the central bank will once again leave rates unchanged.

The announcement of the latest monetary policy decision will be followed by a press conference by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell beginning at 2:30 pm ET.

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