Photo : YONHAP News / EPA
The U.S. Federal Reserve kept its key interest rate unchanged on Wednesday while signaling the possibility of another hike before the end of the year.
After a two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee(FOMC) on Wednesday, the Fed said in a statement that it kept the target range for its benchmark rate at five-point-25 to five-and-a-half percent.
The central bank raised its key rate ten straight times since March of last year from near zero to five-point-25 percent, the highest level in 16 years.
With Wednesday's decision, the gap between the Fed’s rate and that of the Bank of Korea remains at a maximum of two percentage points.
The Fed’s statement explained that recent indicators show a solid pace of expansion in economic activity and slowing but strong job creation while the unemployment rate has remained low, but added that inflation remains elevated.
The Fed said the FOMC decided to maintain the target range in a bid to achieve maximum employment and rein in inflation to two percent over the longer run.
In a news conference, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank is prepared to raise rates further if deemed necessary and intends to hold “policy at a restrictive level until we are confident that inflation is moving down sustainably toward our objective.”