WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged on 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 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.
“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.
Fed policymakers also highlighted that unemployment was still hovering near its recent low. The unemployment rate is currently 4.7 percent, at or near the level many policymakers consider…