WASHINGTON – The US Federal Reserve left interests rates unchanged on Thursday, maintaining the target range at 2 percent to 2.5 percent, while noting that the growth of business investments has “moderated from its rapid pace earlier in the year.”
The statement issued by the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) after a two-day meeting indicates that the decision was taken unanimously.
“Job gains have been strong, on average, in recent months, and the unemployment rate has declined. Household spending has continued to grow strongly, while growth of business fixed investment has moderated from its rapid pace earlier in the year,” the Federal Reserve statement says.
The Fed reiterated its intention of continuing the “gradual” increase in interest rates, and analysts expect rates to rise once again after the Fed’s last meeting of the year, scheduled to take place mid-December.
In 2018, interest rates have been increased on three occasions, reflecting the sustained expansion of economic activity and a positive outlook for the US economy.
The chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, has insisted that the gradual increase in interest rates is appropriate, despite the criticisms of President Donald Trump, who has said that the rate hikes threaten to slow down economic expansion.