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Federal Reserve officials held off from raising borrowing costs and scaled back forecasts for how high interest rates will rise this year, citing the potential impact of weaker global growth and financial-market turmoil on the U.S. economy.

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) kept the target range for the benchmark federal funds rate at 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent, the central bank said in a statement Wednesday following a two-day meeting in Washington. The median of policy makers’ updated quarterly projections saw the rate at 0.875 percent at the end of 2016, implying two quarter-point increases this year, down from four forecast in December.

"A range of recent indicators points to strengthening of the labor market. Monetary policy remains accommodative, supporting further improvement in labor market conditions and a return to 2 percent inflation."“The committee currently expects that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace and labor market indicators will continue to strengthen,” the FOMC said. “However, global economic and financial developments continue to pose risks.”

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