US Fed leaves interest rates unchanged amid trade concerns

US Federal Reserve

Washington, Aug 2 (IANS) The US Federal Reserve on Wednesday left key interest rates unchanged amid concerns about trade tensions between the United States and its trading partners.

The Fed decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1.75 to 2 per cent, the central bank said in a statement after concluding a two-day policy meeting, Xinhua reported.

The Fed noted that the US labour market “has continued to strengthen” and the economic activity “has been rising at a strong rate” since policymakers met in June.

“On a 12-month basis, both overall inflation and inflation for items other than food and energy remain near 2 per cent,” the Fed said, showing its confidence that U.S. inflation will move toward its target of 2 per cent.

The Fed’s meeting came after manufacturers across the US had expressed heightened concerns that the Trump administration’s new tariffs would raise prices and disrupt the supply chains.

“Manufacturers in all Districts expressed concern about tariffs and in many Districts reported higher prices and supply disruptions that they attributed to the new trade policies,” the Fed said last month in its latest survey on economic conditions, known as the Beige Book.

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