US Fed Keeps Interest Rates on Hold

Washington: The US Federal Reserve has kept interest rates between 0.25% and 0.5%, the rate it has held since December. The Fed said while conditions have improved, the central bank is still waiting for inflation to reach 2%.

In its statement the Fed said it would “carefully monitor actual and expected progress toward its inflation goal” as it weighed when next to raise rates.

Most investors expected rates to remain on hold, and were looking for changes to the Fed’s assessment of the economy.

In its statement accompanying today’s decision, the Fed’s Open Market Committee pointed to strengthening in the labour market and improved household spending, as positive signs.

“Labour market conditions have improved further even as growth in economic activity appears to have slowed,” the Fed said.

The unemployment rate fell below 5% in January. The central bank appeared to be less focused on global financial risks to the US economy. A slowing economy in China and falling oil prices have weighed on the Fed’s past decisions, but appeared to be less important this time around.

Its latest update omitted the line “global economic and financial developments continue to pose risks,” which was included in its March statement.