WASHINGTON – Nov. 9, 2018 – The Federal Reserve held short-term interest rates steady Thursday and offered a mostly upbeat assessment of the U.S. economy, suggesting another rate increase is likely before year-end.

Observers analyze the Fed statement that accompanies interest rate announcements closely to look for signs of future rate hikes. In the latest statement released after its two-day policy meeting, the Fed repeatedly emphasized the economy's strength. It offered nothing to dispel market expectations that it would deliver its fourth rate rise of the year in December.

Data released since officials last met in September indicate "that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising at a strong rate," the Fed statement said.

Officials voted unanimously in September to raise their benchmark rate to a range between 2 percent and 2.25 percent. On Thursday, they voted to leave it unchanged, again with no dissents.

Source: Wall Street Journal (11/08/18) Timiraos, Nick

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