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Powell likely to underscore inflation concerns even as Fed leaves key rate unchanged

By CHRISTOPHER RUGABER
AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the first time in nearly two years, the Federal Reserve is set Wednesday to keep its key short-term interest rate unchanged for a second straight policy meeting — the clearest sign to date that the Fed is edging closer to the end of its rate-hiking campaign. The Fed is standing pat, for now, in part because the economy has been moving mostly in the direction that Chair Jerome Powell hoped for: Inflation has tumbled, though hiring, consumer spending and economic growth have remained robust. But the deceleration of inflation has slowed, and solid economic growth could keep inflation elevated. As a result, Fed officials aren’t yet willing to take a final rate hike off the table.

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