Fed announces rate hike decision

Federal Reserve keeps interest rates unchanged, calls economic activity 'strong'

Federal Reserve keeps interest rates unchanged, calls economic activity 'strong'

"Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in June indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising at a strong rate", the statement said.

The Fed's decision left its benchmark overnight lending rate in a range of 1.75 percent to 2.00 percent. However, two more rate hikes are widely expected before the end of the year, with many observers looking for them to come in September and December.

As expected, the Federal Reserve's policymaking body chose to hold rates steady at its meeting today.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is trying to nurture the second longest US expansion on record by slowly reducing the amount of support that monetary policy provides to growth.

"This is consistent with what Powell told Congress: the economy is doing really well right now", said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Baird.

Inflation is also perking up after six years of undershooting the Fed's target.

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The US central bank, headed by Jerome... Odds for a rate hike at the central bank's September 25-26 meeting held around 80 per cent. Beginning next year Powell will speak to the media after each of the Fed's eight policy meetings. The central bank acts independently when setting monetary policy.

Unemployment was 4 per cent in June, below the Fed's 4.5 per cent estimate of the level that reflects full employment. Nonetheless, we expect an upbeat statement consistent with a September hike, given solid United States growth data and stable financial conditions in the face of rising trade uncertainty.

Some firms say the steel and aluminium import tariffs imposed by the Trump administration already have had an impact.

The seal for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is displayed in Washington, U.S., June 14, 2017.

Economists do not expect the U.S. economy to continue to expand at the same pace for the rest of the year and the outlook is clouded by Trump's trade confrontations with multiple countries.

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