WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve is keeping U.S. interest rates at record lows in the face of threats from a weak global economy, persistently low inflation and unstable financial markets.
Wrapping up a closely watched meeting, Fed officials say that while the U.S. job market is solid, recent global developments may “restrain economic activity” and further drag down already low inflation.
Signs of a sharp slowdown in China have intensified fear among investors about the U.S. and global economy. And low oil prices and a high-priced dollar have kept inflation undesirably muted.
Before year’s end, many analysts still expect the Fed to raise its key short-term rate, which it’s kept near zero since 2008. A higher Fed rate would eventually send rates up on many consumer and business loans.