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1. Fed signals no interest rate hikes in 2019

The US Federal Reserve Board has signaled that it will not raise interest rates at all this year, pointing out that the growth of economic activity has slowed.

The Federal Reserve held a 2-day policy board meeting through Wednesday.

After the Federal Open Market Committee meeting, the Fed released a statement saying growth of the US economy has slowed amid the slowdown of the global economy, including China and Europe.

The Fed lowered its forecast for economic growth this year from the previously announced 2.3 percent to 2.1 percent.

The Fed says it will keep its current benchmark rate unchanged, and maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent.

The Fed also revised its forecast for future rate hikes. As of December last year, it said it planned to increase the rate 2 times in 2019, but this time it indicated no plans for any rate hike at all this year.

Furthermore, the Fed also announced its plan to halt at the end of September its supply of large amounts of funds to the market.

The Fed measures are linked to slowdowns in the US and global economies.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell told reporters that the US economy is seen to keep expanding at a firm pace, but the growth rate is turning out slower than previously forecast. He said pending political issues, such as Brexit and US-China trade talks, are potential risks.

Powell indicated that the Fed plans no increases in interest rates for the time being, considering the economic forecast.
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