Fed holds rates stable, pledges 'patient' approach, expects 'ample' balance sheet

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The Federal Reserve opted not to raise interest rates during its policy meeting this week and pledged that future moves will be done patiently and with an eye toward how economic conditions unfold.

In a statement Wednesday, the central bank voted unanimously to hold its policy rate in a range between 2.25 percent and 2.5 percent.

The decision came along with a separate statement on the Fed’s balance sheet indicating that policymakers will consider adjusting the reduction of the central bank’s bond portfolio if conditions warrant. Officials in that statement also said they expect to operate with “an ample supply” of bank reserves, an indication that the balance sheet will remain sizable once its reduction is complete.

In a move that represented a divergence from policy of the past several years, the Fed dropped language that more rate hikes likely would be warranted – “further gradual increases,” as stated

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