The U.S. Federal Reserve held interest rates steady Wednesday in its first meeting since President Donald Trump took office, but painted a relatively upbeat picture of the U.S. economy that suggested it was on track to tighten monetary policy this year.
The U.S. Central Bank said job gains remained solid, inflation had increased and economic confidence was rising, although it gave no firm signal on the timing of its next rate move.
Fed policymakers are still awaiting clarity on the possible impact of Trump's economic policies.
"Measures of consumer and business sentiment have improved of late," the Fed said in a unanimous statement following a two-day policy meeting in which it left its benchmark interest rate in a range of 0.50 percent to 0.75 percent.
The Fed also highlighted that the unemployment rate, currently at 4.7 percent, was still hovering near its recent low.
The Fed raised rates in December for only the second time in a decade and forecast three rate increases in 2017.
Investors had all but ruled out a rate increase this week, given the uncertainty surrounding Trump's fiscal and trade policies and how they would affect the Fed's outlook.