Fed keeps interest rate at record low after slowdown in job growth

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WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve is keeping U.S. interest rates at record lows in the face of persistent threats from a weak international economy and excessively low inflation.

Fed officials say in a statement that the U.S. economy is still expanding modestly. But in a nod to recent weaker data, they said the pace of job gains had slowed. While it expressed concern about global pressures, the Fed removed a sentence from its September statement that warned about global pressures following news of a sharper-than-expected slowdown in China.

The Fed offered little clarity on the likely timing of a rate hike. Some Fed officials have signaled a desire to raise rates before year’s end. But tepid economic reports have led many analysts to predict no hike until 2016.