Here comes the Fed ...

jerome powell

Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell

The Federal Reserve, in a policy statement due at 2 p.m. ET, is widely expected to announce that it kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged.

The statement comes after a two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, which decides on monetary policy. Traders see a 92% probability that the Fed will raise the fed funds rate to a range of 2%-2.25% in September, according to Bloomberg.Advertisement

That's in line with its practice of only making big changes when there's a scheduled press conference.

Wednesday's statement, therefore, may not contain any significant tweaks to the Fed's views on the economy, and on the trajectory of interest rates.

In congressional testimony mid-July, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said that, with appropriate monetary policy, the job market would remain strong and inflation would stay around the 2% target for "several years." He said it's difficult to predict the outcome of the ongoing trade disputes, but added that a prolonged trade war would hurt the economy.
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With seven rate rate hikes in the bag since the financial crisis, the Fed is contemplating whether to remove language in its statement that continues to describe borrowing costs as low. Minutes of its meeting in June showed that some FOMC officials debated how communications may evolve if the economy continues to make progress and is able to withstand higher rates.

More to come, refresh this page at 2 p.m. ET for the latest.

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