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Fed holds rates steady, insists much more economic progress is needed

The Federal Reserve made no changes to its policy rate on Wednesday and chair Jerome Powell was resolute in insisting that the central bank is still not ready to "think about thinking about" or "talk about talking about" raising U.S. interest rates or reducing its $120 billion a month bond-buying program.

Why it matters: As the economy has improved and inflation expectations and price hikes have picked up, economists and market participants have wondered aloud if the Fed was open to reducing its massive market assistance sooner than expected.

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