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Fed in no hurry to raise rates

The Federal Reserve reiterated Wednesday that it will be “patient” in raising interest rates from record lows even as the U.S. economy moves steadily closer to full health. The Fed signaled in a statement after its latest policy meeting that no rate increase is imminent despite the economic gains. A key reason is that inflation remains well below the Fed’s target rate. And it said the pressures holding down inflation — mainly plunging oil prices — have intensified. The Fed said it thinks inflation will decline further before eventually reaching the central bank’s 2 percent target rate. Paul Ashworth, an economist at Capital Economics, said the statement suggests that the Fed “is still taking the view that the collapse in oil prices is a net positive for the economy.”