Fed holds rates steady in wait-and-see stance

Fed holds rates steady in wait-and-see stance

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The U.S. economy keeps chugging along but overseas risks continues to hover, and that’s helping keep the Fed in wait-and-see mode.

As widely expected, the Federal Reserve held interest rates steady Wednesday, following through on its vow late last year to stand pat barring a “material” change in its outlook.

In a statement after a two-day meeting, the Fed said it would leave its benchmark federal funds rate at a historically low range of 1.5% to 1.75% after cutting it by a quarter percentage point three times last year amid trade tensions and sluggish global growth that increased the risk of recession.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell has said the so-called insurance cuts kept the economy on solid footing and no further decreases were needed unless the outlook darkened.

In its statement Wednesday, the Fed said “the labor market remains strong” and “economic activity has been rising at a moderate rate.”

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