US Federal leaves rates unchanged amid leadership change

Washington:The US Federal Reserve on Wednesday left its benchmark interest rates unchanged as current Federal Chair Janet Yellen prepares to hand over the leadership of the central bank to Jerome Powell later this week.

The Federal decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1.25 to 1.5 per cent after its two-day meeting, while giving an upbeat assessment of recent US economic growth, Xinhua reported.

“Gains in employment, household spending, and business fixed investment have been solid, and the unemployment rate has stayed low,” the Fed’s policy-making committee said in a statement.

The Federal also expected US inflation on a 12-month basis to “move up this year and to stabilize” around the central bank’s 2 percent target over the medium term.