The Fed's statement following its 2-day meeting indicated continued improvement in the labor market, and signaled to many a September rate hike is likely. Bobbi Rebell reports.
The Federal Reserve's latest statement on monetary policy indicated a slightly better view of the job market. That signaled to many economists that the Fed would likely raise interest rates in September. Stocks added to gains after the statement- which came after its regularly scheduled 2-day meeting. As expected, it kept interest rates steady. U.S. interest rates have remained near zero for almost a decade. Moody's capital markets economist Ben Garber: SOUNDBITE: BEN GARBER, CAPITAL MARKETS ECONOMIST, MOODY'S (ENGLISH) SAYING: "What they saw was continuing progress in the economy in June. They noted that things had slowed down in the first quarter, but now we are seeing more progress toward reaching full employment. They think inflation will eventually move back to their 2 percent target. That leaves the door open to a September rate hike." Fed officials said they felt the economy had overcome a first-quarter slowdown and was "expanding moderately" despite a downturn in the energy sector and headwinds from overseas.