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US Federal Reserve Leaves Key Interest Rates Unchanged at 2 to 2.25 Percent

© REUTERS / Lucas JacksonTraders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shortly after the announcement that the U.S. Federal Reserve had hiked interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade in New York, December 16, 2015
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shortly after the announcement that the U.S. Federal Reserve had hiked interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade in New York, December 16, 2015 - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States' benchmark interest rate will remain unchanged at 2 to 2.25 percent, the US Federal Reserve’s policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) said in a statement after a policy meeting on Thursday.

"In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 2 to 2-1/4 percent," the statement said.

Federal Reserve Bank of New York - Sputnik International
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The Fed cited a strengthening labor market, declining unemployment and strong household spending as factors in its decision.

In September, the Fed raised the federal funds rate a quarter of a percentage point from 2 percent to 2.25 percent, the third rate increase this year.

Following the 2018 financial crisis, the Fed kept rates at near record lows for years to stimulate the economy.

READ MORE: Federal Reserve Helped US Top Banks to Avoid Stress Tests Failure — Reports

The Central Bank has increased rates gradually over the past three years and earlier signaled it could raise rates one more time before  the end of the year.

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