Federal Reserve Leaves Rates Unchanged But Says Economy Looks Stronger

Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen leaves her post on a high note at a time when the economy is growing, inflation is tame and unemployment is at a record low

The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged on Wednesday but took note that the economy was showing signs of renewed vigor.

As widely expected, the Fed left its benchmark interest rate unchanged, in a range between 1.25 percent and 1.5 percent. Investors expect that the Fed will raise rates three times this year.

The Fed’s upgraded its assessment of the economy, saying recent data showed the labor market has continued to strengthen and economic activity has been rising. The Fed also signalled a rising confidence that inflation, which has been running low for years, will rise to its 2 percent target. Those are small changes but are likely to be seen as strengthening the chances that the Fed will raise its rate target at its next meeting in March.

The meeting was the final for Janet Yellen, who has presided over the Fed for four years. The Federal Open Market Committee, which sets monetary policy for the Fed, officially elected President Donald Trump’s pick for Fed chair, Jerome Powell