Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell issued his strongest statement yet Wednesday that the central bank has changed its outlook regarding interest rate hikes.
"The case for raising rates has weakened somewhat," Powell said during a news conference following this week's two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting.
The statement came after the FOMC decided to leave its benchmark interest rate target unchanged at 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent. In addition, the committee vowed to take a "patient" approach toward further hikes. Powell added that the funds rate is "in the committee's" range of a neutral rate estimate, a key measure for the Fed.