The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged and signaled it would keep them on hold through 2020 amid a solid economy, sticking to the sidelines during an election year.
“The committee judges that the current stance of monetary policy is appropriate to support sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation near the committee’s symmetric 2% objective,’’ the Federal Open Market Committee said in a statement Wednesday following a two-day meeting.
Fed funds futures held steady and continued to show a quarter-point cut fully priced in for the first half of 2021. The Treasury 10-year yield briefly pared its earlier decline before reversing and extending its drop to a fresh low of the day, as did the Bloomberg dollar index. U.S. stocks edged higher.
The Fed, in its first unanimous vote since May, said it will continue to monitor the implications of data for the economic outlook “including global developments and muted inflation pressures.” Officials also removed an earlier reference to “uncertainties” remaining about the outlook.
Policy makers had been widely expected to leave the target range for the federal funds rate at 1.5% to 1.75% after three straight cuts that helped calm concerns the economy could falter.
Officials forecast their policy remains supportive of growth in coming years — even with the U.S. and China yet to reach a trade deal, Brexit’s future in question ahead of Thursday’s U.K. election and a lackluster global economic picture.
The FOMC repeated in its statement that economic activity has been rising at a “moderate’’ rate with “solid’’ job gains.