Fed keeps rate at record low after slowdown in job growth

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Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen answers questions at a news conference following a Federal Open Market Committee meeting September 17, 2015 in Washington, DC. The committee reaffirmed its view that the current target range for the federal funds rate remains appropriate and that interest rates will remain unchanged. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve is keeping U.S. interest rates at record lows in the face of persistent threats from a weak international economy and excessively low inflation.

Fed officials say in a statement that the U.S. economy is still expanding modestly. In a nod to recent weaker data, they said the pace of job gains had slowed. While it expressed concern about global pressures, the Fed removed a sentence from its September statement that warned about global pressures following news of a sharper-than-expected slowdown in China.

The Fed offered little clarity on the likely timing of a rate hike. Some Fed officials have signaled a desire to raise rates before year’s end. But tepid economic reports have led many analysts to predict no hike until 2016.