The Federal Reserve on Wednesday voted to hold interest rates steady and shaved its growth forecast.
Fed officials, who gathered in Washington for their two-day policy setting meeting, unanimously recommitted to remain “patient,” agreeing to indefinitely stick with an extended pause on rate changes. They also signaled that the Fed wouldn’t hike rates in 2019.
It’s “a great time to be patient,” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told reporters at a press conference.
The US economy, while steady, faces a number of risks due to domestic and global slowdown.
In its statement, the Fed’s policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee said that the country’s labor market “remains strong,” but economic activity has “slowed from its solid rate in the fourth quarter,” citing sluggish spending by households and reduced business investment.
The majority of Fed officials — 11 total — now anticipate holding rates steady for the remainder of 2019. Only six participants forecast at least one additional rate hike this year.
Last December, the Fed forecast at least two rate hikes in 2019, but