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WASHINGTON (AP) – Interest rates won’t be going up just yet.

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The Federal Reserve has decided to keep the rates at record lows — amid threats from a weak global economy, low inflation and unstable financial markets.

Fed officials say while the U.S. job market is solid, recent developments elsewhere may “restrain economic activity” and further drag down inflation.

Signs of a sharp slowdown in China have intensified fear among investors about the U.S. and global economy.

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Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says that the ultra-low interest rates have not widened the wealth gap.

Some economists say that the Fed has bolstered stock market returns, helping chief executives, hedge fund managers and trust-funders. But Yellen countered during her news conference that the low rates have provided a kick-start for hiring, noting that it’s hard to reduce income inequality if people are unemployed.

“The main thing an accommodative monetary policy does is put people back to work,” she said.

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