WASHINGTON — The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve System has voted to keep a key interest rate at its current level for the time being.
The federal funds rate — the rate at which banks lend to other banks — will stay at 1 to 1.25 percent, the FOMC announced Sept. 20.
Except for food and energy, overall inflation has declined in 2017 and remains below the Fed's target rate of 2 percent, according to the committee.
Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria have inflicted severe hardship on many communities, the FOMC noted. Other areas will see the effect of the storms in the form of continuing higher prices for gasoline and other products, it said.
"Storm-related disruptions and rebuilding will affect economic activity in the near term, but past experience suggests that the storms are unlikely to materially alter the course of the national economy over the medium term," it said.