Fed will be patient in rate hikes amid global growth woes

WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve says that in light of a slowing global economy and last year’s financial market turmoil, the central bank intends to remain “patient” in determining when to make future changes in its benchmark interest rate.The Fed’s semi-annual report to Congress on monetary policy stood in contrast to its last report in July when it signalled that it was on track to keep raising rates at a gradual pace over the next two years.The new report cites a range of risks to the economy that have developed over the last six months, as well as continued muted inflation as reasons to slow further hikes.Many private economists believe the Fed may raise rates at most only one more time late this year.Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press