The Federal Reserve wrapped up its latest two-day policy meeting on Thursday with a decision to keep interest rates in the 0 to 0.25 percent range, the rock-bottom level they've been at since the 2008 crash. Two more meetings remain in October and December, and it's widely anticipated the Fed will deliver its first hike before year's end. But the remarkable stretch of zero interest rates, and the increasing debate over the proper level, made this one of the most-watched decisions by the Fed in quite a while.
Even if a hike does come by December, the increase is likely to be minimal and very gradual. "Economic conditions may, for some time, warrant keeping the target federal funds rate below levels the committee views as normal in the longer run," the Fed said in its statement.
Amongst the voting committee at the Fed that determines monetary policy, the decision was near unanimous. Only one member dissented, in favor of hiking the range to 0.25 to 0.5 percent.