Fed likely to underscore a message: No rates hikes in 2019

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve this week will likely reinforce a theme that has cheered consumers and investors since the start of the year: No interest rates hikes are likely anytime soon.

The prospect of continued low rates is keeping borrowing costs low for households and companies. It is helping drive record highs in the stock market. It is supplying fuel for a U.S. economy that’s growing steadily but fairly modestly and until recently was seen as facing the risk of a recession. And with inflation remaining unusually mild, the Fed is seen as able to stay on the sidelines through year’s end and perhaps beyond.

The Fed will likely express that belief in a statement when its policy meeting ends Wednesday and in a news conference Chairman Jerome Powell will hold.

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