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3/20, 7:00 PM (Source: TeleTrader)
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Fed keeps rates steady, signals no more 2019 hikes

The Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announced on Wednesday it will keep the target range for the federal funds rate steady at 2.25%-2.5%. Despite projecting two rate hikes in 2019 just three months ago, the central bank signaled there will be no more rate hikes this year, while maintaining there will be just one increase in 2020. The FOMC said it would remain "patient" before hiking rates in the future, while indicating an intention to end the roll-off of its bond-buying program in September.

"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," Fed's statement reads.

The Fed also noted that the labor market "remains strong" but said that the economic activity growth decelerated compared to its "solid" rate in the fourth quarter of 2018. It also noted solid job gains and a persistently low unemployment rate, while pointing out a decline in overall annual inflation due to a drop in energy prices. The Fed also lowered its 2019 economic growth projection from 2.3% to 2.1%, while estimating that the inflation will reach 1.8%.

Breaking the News / FH