Fed likely to send reassuring note of patience on rate hikes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Chairman Jerome Powell is likely to refer this week to a word he’s been using to describe the Federal Reserve’s latest approach to interest rates: “Patient.”

With pressures on the U.S. economy rising — a global slowdown, a trade war with China, slowing corporate earnings, a nervous stock market — the Powell Fed has been signaling that it’s in no hurry to resume raising rates after having done so four times in 2018. And with inflation remaining tame, the rationale to tighten credit has become less compelling.

When its latest policy meeting ends Wednesday, the Fed is expected to keep its key short-term rate unchanged at a range of 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent.