Federal Reserve keeps interest rates, sighting future hikes depend on economy data

WASHINGTON, Jan 27 (KUNA) — The US Federal Reserve decided not to change or raise the federal interest rate with the economic growth slowing late last year.
Federal Reserve board committee concluded its January meeting here in Washington Wednesday concluding in a statement that “inflation is expected to remain low in the near term, in part because of the further declines in energy prices, but to rise to two percent over the medium term as the transitory effects of declines in energy and import prices dissipate and the labor market strengthens further.” The committee also indicates steady and improved conditions for the labor market in the US even as economic growth slowed in December of last year.
It expects that “with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace and labor market indicators will continue to strengthen.” The committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1/4 to 1/2 percent.
“The committee expects that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant only gradual increases in the federal funds rate; the federal funds rate is likely to remain, for some time, below levels that are expected to prevail in the longer run.” However, the actual path of the federal funds rate will depend on the economic outlook as informed by incoming data, it concluded. (end) yt.hb