The Fed next meets in December, and many investors and economists expect the central bank to raise rates, slightly, at that time. What's more, it no longer thinks inflation will stay low over the next couple of years.
Officials have left rates unchanged since December amid worries about a range of risks, including slow USA economic growth early in the year, weak job growth in May, the U.K.'s Brexit vote in June and uncertainties about the US presidential election on November 8.
The two-day Federal Reserve meeting concluded with an unchanged rate of interest with the policy-makers hinting at an expected surge in the month of December.
The committee noted that it remains aware that there remains short-term risks to the economic outlook, and termed this as "roughly balanced" while reiterating the intention to keep on monitoring closely development in global capital markets but most importantly, to pricing pressures (inflationary data).
The central bank's rate-setting committee said the economy had gained steam and job growth remained solid.
The case for an increase has "continued to strengthen", said the Fed, which added it would, in the meantime, wait for "further evidence of continued progress" toward its objectives of maximum employment and a two-percent inflation rate. The inclusion of the word suggests they don't need to see a lot of evidence before raising rates. It said in its monetary policy statement that the rate hike was likely to take place at the "next meeting". The Fed had been widely expected to leave rates alone today, in part to avoid any perception of affecting next week's vote.
Judge: Instructions to bridge jury will stand
The indictment specifically refers to punishment of Sokolich as the object of the conspiracy to misuse Port Authority resources. But unlike Tuesday, reporters were not allowed in and attorneys declined repeatedly to answer questions about proceedings.
Wednesday's decision was approved on an 8-2 vote, with two regional bank presidents - Esther George of Kansas City and Loretta Mester of Cleveland - casting the dissenting votes.
The Fed said that economic activity had picked up and the labor market continued to strengthen since it last met. With inflation still running below the central bank's 2 percent target, many Fed officials have said they think they have room to continue pursuing an extremely gradual approach to rate increases. But the current rate 5 percent has always been associated with a healthy economy.
The economy expanded at a 2.9 percent annualized pace in the third quarter, according to a government report last week. But consumer spending and business investment increased modestly. Markets put a 7% probability on a rate increase Wednesday before the Fed statement was released, while they put the odds of a December increase at almost 74%, according to CME Group. "I think that ultimately rates do go higher but it may not be right away" because of uncertainty around the USA election.
No one seriously expected the Fed to act to raise its 0.25% to 0.50% Fed funds range on Wednesday, just six days before one of the most divisive and close-run USA presidential elections in decades. But the brighter economic portrait it sketched Wednesday suggested that a rate increase is edging closer.
After the recession, and several years of super-low rates to encourage borrowing and spending, the Fed chose to normalize slowly, using economic data as a guide.
"If there is an election even that is significant enough and likely enough that it will alter the course of the economy, then we should take that into account", Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren said in an interview last month.