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Federal Reserve Keeps Interest Rates Unchanged

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Patience - Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell came back to that word several times when he spoke yesterday about the Fed's decision to hold off on raising its key interest rate.

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JEROME POWELL: In this environment, we believe we can best support the economy by being patient in evaluating the outlook before making any future adjustment to policy.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The Fed raised rates four times in 2018. But yesterday, Powell gave reasons to pause.

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POWELL: Including Brexit, ongoing trade negotiations and the effects from the partial government shutdown in the United States.

MARTIN: To be clear, the Fed still thinks the U.S. economy is strong - just not strong enough to need another interest rate hike right now.

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POWELL: The U.S. economy is in a good place, and we will continue to use our monetary policy tools to help keep it there.

INSKEEP: Now, the Fed's decision is surely what President Trump wanted. He's been hammering the Fed over higher rates, which might affect the economy and, not incidentally, the president's re-election chances. Powell insists, though, that Trump was not a factor.

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POWELL: We're never going to take political considerations into account or discuss them.

INSKEEP: The president once wrote on Twitter that the Fed is like a powerful golfer who can't score because he has no touch. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.