Fed holds steady on interest rates

The Federal Reserve stood pat on interest rates Wednesday, citing low inflation and looming global economic risks as reasons for caution.

In its latest policy statement, the central bank confirmed that it would not be raising rates, as had been widely expected. The federal funds rate still sits between 0.25 and 0.5 percent, after the Fed hike rates for the first time in years at its December meeting.

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“The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting further improvement in labor market conditions and a return to 2 percent inflation,” the Fed said.

Economic projections released by Fed officials shows a slight decline in overall expectations for the economy in 2016. The Fed expects the economy to grow at a slightly slower rate in 2016 than it estimated in December, and also expects interest rates will be about half a percentage point lower at the end of the year than it projected in December.

Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen will discuss the Fed’s thinking at a press conference later this afternoon.