WASHINGTON – The Federal Reserve decided Wednesday to keep interest rates at the current level, the central bank’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) said in a statement.
“Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. In support of these goals, the Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 percent,” the statement said.
It continued: “The Committee continues to view sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation near the Committee’s symmetric 2 percent objective as the most likely outcomes. 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 committee has jurisdiction over monetary policy.
Last month, Chairman Jerome Powell said he did not anticipate any rate hikes this year.
The Fed made four modest rate adjustments in 2018.
President Donald Trump has consistently pressured Powell to lower interest rates. Trump has blamed the Fed for the economy not reaching 4% GDP last year. The economy grew at 3.1% in 2018.
The Fed has historically kept interest rates low when the economy is sluggish to encourage borrowing. The Fed has historically raised interest rates when the economy is strong so as to keep pace with inflation.