FOMC announcement: Fed keeps interest rates steady

"By the middle of next year, however, we expect economic growth to slow below its potential pace, which would force the Fed to the sidelines", he said in a note. This will be the last meeting without a formal press conference with Powell.

The Fed in September raised its benchmark federal funds rate for the third time this year, citing the strong labor market and healthy spending by consumers and businesses. With the economy growing briskly and in its 10th year of expansion - the second-longest stretch on record - the Fed is aiming to keep future inflation under control.

"Job gains have been strong, on average, in recent months, and the unemployment rate has declined".

Investors widely expect policymakers to keep the target range steady for the federal funds rate, after officials at the USA central bank raised it in September for the third time this year.

Trump has criticized the central bank for raising rates "too fast", calling the Fed the biggest threat to the USA economy.

If Jerome Powell, the Fed's chairman, sounds calm about inflation, the markets will rally.

In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the Committee chose to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 2 to 2-1/4 percent. He has instead expressed determination to pursue the Fed's mandate of maximizing employment and stabilizing prices without regard to political considerations.

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