FILE- In this Oct. 31, 2018, file photo Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, left, and Randal Quarles, vice chair for supervision, gather their things at the end of a Federal Reserve Board meeting at the Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve Board Building in Washington. On Thursday, Nov. 8, the Federal Reserve releases its latest monetary policy statement after a two-day meeting. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Federal Reserve leaves key policy rate unchanged

November 08, 2018 - 2:01 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve is leaving its key policy rate unchanged but signaling that it plans to keep responding to the strong U.S. economy with further rate hikes. The next Fed rate hike is expected in December.

The Fed left its benchmark rate in a range of 2 percent to 2.25 percent. A statement it issued after its latest policy meeting portrayed the economy as robust, with healthy job growth, low unemployment, solid consumer spending and inflation near the Fed's 2 percent target.

Despite a U.S. trade war with key nations, weaker corporate investment and a sluggish housing market, the Fed is expressing confidence in the economy's resilience. To help control inflation, it has projected three rate increases in 2019 after an expected fourth hike of the year next month.

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