Fed keeps U.S. rates steady, says risks balanced
The Fed's policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee announced at the close of a two-day meeting that it voted unanimously to maintain its trend-setting federal funds rate at 1.75 percent. The more symbolic discount rate, charged to banks for loans directly from the Fed, was also unmoved at 1.25 percent.
In its statement, the Fed said it saw demand picking up but said the degree of strengthening remained uncertain. It said risks were equally balanced between recession and a flare-up in inflation, a stance unchanged from the last meeting on May 7.
U.S. interest rates have stood at this level since last December and most economists believe the central bank will not raise borrowing costs until near year-end. The widely expected decision came amid growing market unease stemming partly from a mounting toll of accounting scandals and with the economy still edging ahead only unevenly.