By Jeanna Smialek
WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged on Wednesday, and its chairman, Jerome H. Powell, stressed that it would remain patient, even as investors looked for a rate cut and President Trump urged one.
A strengthening economy has prompted members of the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee to raise rates nine times since 2015, with four increases coming under Mr. Powell’s leadership. But they have adopted
a cautious stance this year, first as growth wavered and more recently as inflation has fallen further below the committee’s 2 percent target.
At a news conference after the committee’s meeting on Wednesday, Mr. Powell said the United States economy remained strong and said signs of global economic weakness that prompted concern in March had partly subsided. “It appears that risks have moderated somewhat,”
he said. “Our outlook, and my outlook, is a positive one, is a healthy one, for the U.S. economy for the rest of this year.”
But Mr. Powell continued to project a patient approach to setting the Fed’s benchmark interest rate and gave no indication that a cut was any more likely than an increase at the moment. “We do think that our policy stance is appropriate right now,” he said.
“We don’t see a strong case for moving in either direction.”