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Federal Reserve Keeps Interest Rates Unchanged

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Patience - Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell came back to that word several times when he spoke yesterday about the Fed's decision to hold off on raising its key interest rate.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JEROME POWELL: In this environment, we believe we can best support the economy by being patient in evaluating the outlook before making any future adjustment to policy.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The Fed raised rates four times in 2018. But yesterday, Powell gave reasons to pause.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

POWELL: Including Brexit, ongoing trade negotiations and the effects from the partial government shutdown in the United States.

MARTIN: To be clear, the Fed still thinks the U.S. economy is strong - just not strong enough to need another interest rate hike right now.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

POWELL: The U.S. economy is in a good place, and we will continue to use our monetary policy tools to help keep it there.

INSKEEP: Now, the Fed's decision is surely what President Trump wanted. He's been hammering the Fed over higher rates, which might affect the economy and, not incidentally, the president's re-election chances. Powell insists, though, that Trump was not a factor.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

POWELL: We're never going to take political considerations into account or discuss them.

INSKEEP: The president once wrote on Twitter that the Fed is like a powerful golfer who can't score because he has no touch. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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