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Federal Reserve leaves interest rates unchanged

By
Danielle Haynes
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks at press conference following the central bank's June Federal Open Market Committee meeting in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks at press conference following the central bank's June Federal Open Market Committee meeting in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

June 19 (UPI) -- The Federal Reserve left benchmark interest rates unchanged Wednesday despite recent pressure from President Donald Trump to cut rates.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and the Federal Open Market Committee chose to keep the federal funds rate between 2.25 percent and 2.5 percent after their two-day policy meeting in Washington, D.C.

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The FOMC cited a strong labor market, a moderate rise in economic activity, low unemployment rate and "solid" job gains for its decision.

Wednesday's decision came after weeks of pressure from the White House to cut interest rates for the first time in 11 years. Trump said lower rates would strengthen U.S. and global economies and low inflation means the Fed shouldn't have raised rates in March.

Asked whether he was considering demoting Powell from chairman -- an unprecedented move -- Trump declined to confirm.

"They're going to be making an announcement pretty soon," he told reporters, referring to Wednesday's decision. "I want to be given a level playing field, and so far I haven't been."

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