Fed leaves key interest rate unchanged

Markets Associated Press

  • FILE - In this Wednesday, June 22, 2016, file photo, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, before the House Financial Services Committee hearing on U.S. monetary policy. On Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, the Federal Reserve left its key interest rate unchanged at a time of solid economic gains but also heightened uncertainty surrounding the new Trump administration. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

    FILE - In this Wednesday, June 22, 2016, file photo, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, before the House Financial Services Committee hearing on U.S. monetary policy. On Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, the Federal ... Reserve left its key interest rate unchanged at a time of solid economic gains but also heightened uncertainty surrounding the new Trump administration. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File) (The Associated Press)

  • A television screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shows the rate decision of the Federal Reserve, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. The Federal Reserve has left its key interest rate unchanged at a time of solid economic gains but also heightened uncertainty surrounding the new Trump administration. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

    A television screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shows the rate decision of the Federal Reserve, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. The Federal Reserve has left its key interest rate unchanged at a time of solid economic gains but also ... heightened uncertainty surrounding the new Trump administration. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) (The Associated Press)

  • A television screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shows the rate decision of the Federal Reserve, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. The Federal Reserve has left its key interest rate unchanged at a time of solid economic gains but also heightened uncertainty surrounding the new Trump administration. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

    A television screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shows the rate decision of the Federal Reserve, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. The Federal Reserve has left its key interest rate unchanged at a time of solid economic gains but also ... heightened uncertainty surrounding the new Trump administration. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) (The Associated Press)

The Federal Reserve has left its key interest rate unchanged at a time of solid economic gains but also heightened uncertainty surrounding the new Trump administration.

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The Fed says in a statement ending its latest policy meeting that the job market has continued to strengthen, inflation has climbed closer to its 2 percent target and economic activity remains steady. But it's signaling that it wants more time to monitor the economy and that it still envisions a gradual pace of rate increases. It offers no hints about when it will resume raising rates.

Many economists think the Fed may put off further rate increases until more is known about President Donald Trump's ambitious agenda, or whether his drive to cancel or rewrite trade deals will slow growth or unsettle investors.