The U.S. central bank made no changes to interest rates, and signaled there would be fewer increases this year than had previously been expected. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Once again, no change from the Fed, keeping interest rates steady after its two-day policy meeting. The U.S. central bank did indicate it would raise rates twice this year, down from earlier indications of four times. Though Fed Chair Janet Yellen said nothing is final. (SOUNDBITE) JANET YELLEN, CHAIR, U.S. FEDERAL RESERVE, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The paths that the participants project for the Federal Funds rate, and how it will evolve, are not a preset plan or commitment or promise of the committee. They are not even, the median should not be interpreted as a committee endorsed forecast, and there is a lot of uncertainty around each participant's projection." Yellen said the U.S. economy has been resilient, and that consumer sentiment was in solid territory, though she was surprised there has not been more wage growth. She added that the Fed is not considering or even discussing negative interest rates, but acknowledged that global economic concerns have led to increased financial market volatility. Stocks applauded the news, moving higher in afternoon trading. Manhattan Venture Partners Max Wolff: (SOUNDBITE) MAX WOLFF, CHIEF ECONOMIST, MANHATTAN VENTURE PARTNERS, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "More cheap money, and a good outlook on the economy is the best of both worlds, again, sort of goldilocks, and the idea here is the economy is growing pretty well, labor market strengthening." When asked about a potential rate hike at the next meeting in late April, Yellen said every meeting is a live meeting, indicating a change in interest rates is always possible.