Dec. 11 (UPI) -- The Federal Reserve left the benchmark interest rate unchanged Wednesday, citing steady low inflation.
The Federal Open Market Committee said it's leaving the federal funds rate at 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent, as was expected, at the conclusion of its two-day meeting.
The FOMC said a strong labor market, and rising economic activity and household spending factored into its decision. The committee expressed concern over weak exports.
"The committee judges that the current stance of monetary policy is appropriate to support sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation near the Committee's symmetric 2 percent objective," the FOMC statement read.
"The committee will continue to monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook, including global developments and muted inflation pressures, as it assesses the appropriate path of the target range for the federal funds rate."
The Federal Reserve was expected to maintain its current interest rate after three reductions earlier in the year. The committee last lowered the rate to its current level on Oct. 30 after President Donald Trump repeatedly criticized Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. The president said higher rates have stifled economic growth.