Amid a moribund economy and reduced levels of consumer spending, the Fed on Wednesday again opted not to raise interest rates.
"Economic activity appears to have slowed," the Federal Open Market Committee said in a statement released after its two-day meeting this week. "Growth in household spending has moderated, although households' real income has risen at a solid rate and consumer sentiment remains high."
The statement highlighted the many conflicting signs in the U.S. economy – consistent job growth and an improving housing market against slowdowns in business investment and exports. Indeed, the Atlanta Fed has estimated that economic growth slowed to just 0.6 percent in the first quarter of 2016, a condition reflected in the Fed's lukewarm assessment of conditions.