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Fed Leaves Rates Unchanged As Widely Anticipated

Fed Leaves Rates Unchanged As Widely Anticipated

In a widely expected move, the Federal Reserve announced its decision to leave interest rates unchanged following the conclusion of its two-day monetary policy meeting on Wednesday.

The Fed said decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 percent, keeping rates unchanged for the second straight meeting after three straight quarter-point rate cuts.

The accompanying statement was largely unchanged from last month, with the Fed noting that recent data indicates the labor market remains strong and that economic activity has been rising at a moderate rate.

The central bank did describe household spending as rising at a “moderate pace” compared to last month’s description of spending as rising at a “strong pace.”

The Fed also reiterated that business fixed investment and exports remain weak and that the annual rate of inflation continues to run below its 2 percent target.

With regard to leaving rates unchanged, the Fed said it views the current stance of monetary policy as appropriate to supporting sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation returning to 2 percent.

The central bank said it will continue to monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook, including global developments and muted inflation pressures, as it assesses the appropriate path for rates.

The unanimous decision to leave rates unchanged was widely expected by economists, as Fed officials have signaled the central bank will remain on hold for the foreseeable future unless there is a material shift in the economic outlook.

CME Group’s FedWatch Tool currently indicates at 76.1 percent chance that the Fed will leave rates unchanged at its next meeting in March.

Shortly, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to hold his post-meeting press conference to discuss the central bank’s latest decision.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com