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Fed is set to leave rates alone but to hike later in year

The Federal Reserve is all but sure to leave interest rates unchanged this week, though steady economic growth and inflation pressures will likely keep the Fed on a path toward further rate hikes later this year.

The central bank is meeting as its board is undergoing a makeover, with a raft of new appointees by President Donald Trump.

The Fed does seem inclined to continue raising rates modestly this year to reflect a steadily improving economy and to keep inflation pressures under control. Economic growth remains solid, and most inflation gauges show annual price increases finally moving close to the Fed’s 2 percent target level. But few analysts expect any aggressive pickup in the pace of rate hikes. Most foresee either two or three additional increases in the Fed’s benchmark rate by year’s end, coming after an earlier hike in January.

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