Federal Reserve keeps interest rates steady amid global slowdown

By Irina Ivanova

/ MoneyWatch

How do increased interest rates impact you?

The Federal Reserve left its benchmark short-term interest rate unchanged on Wednesday and reiterated that it will be "patient" as the central bank evaluates future rate hikes.

"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," the Federal Open Market Committee, the bank's rate-setting panel, said in a statement.

The Fed also nodded to muted inflation in recent months, but reiterated that the U.S. economy remains on solid footing.

The central bank has been under pressure to slow its pace of rate hikes in light of weakening economic growth abroad and the U.S. trade dispute with China.

The Fed is also assessing the impact of the partial government shutdown that ended last week but that has still shaken consumer confidence and created uncertainty for businesses and financial markets. The dispute also paused the flow of key federal economic reports, including readings on overall U.S. growth, retail sales and factory order.

The reopening of the government will restore the distribution of all economic reports. But it could be weeks before staffers fully catch up in compiling, analyzing and distributing all key data.

This is a developing story…

First published on January 30, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.

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