WASHINGTON – The Federal Reserve on Wednesday kept interest rates unchanged but said a rate hike was likely in the near future. The Fed's policy committee was divided. There were three dissents in favor of a rate hike at this meeting. In its statement, the Fed policy committee said "the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has strengthened but decided, for the time being to wait for further evidence of continued progress toward its objectives." The Fed also said that the risks facing the economy appear "roughly balanced." This is the first time the Fed has been so optimistic about the outlook since last December when it hiked rates for the first time since 2006.
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