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Fed Signals End of Interest Rate Increases

By Binyamin Appelbaum for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it may be done raising interest rates.

In a statement following a two-day meeting of its policymaking committee, the Fed said that economic growth remained “solid,” and that it expected growth to continue.

But in a sharp reversal of its stance just one month ago, the Fed did not say it expected to keep raising interest rates. Instead, the statement said the Fed would be “patient” in evaluating the health of the economy. And it indicated that the Fed stood ready either to increase or to reduce rates, depending on economic conditions.

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“The case for raising rates has decreased somewhat,” Jerome H. Powell, the Fed’s chairman, said at a news conference following the release of the policy statements. He said that while “we continue to expect that the American economy will grow at a solid pace,” some signs of weakness in consumer and business sentiment, as well as a global economic slowing in places like China, “giving reason for caution.”

“My colleagues and I have one overarching goal: To sustain the economic expansion,” he said.

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