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Fed chair Jerome Powell speaks at the Economic Club of Washington earlier this month. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

As expected, the Federal Reserve announced on Wednesday that it would not raise interest rates, but policymakers changed the closely watched policy statement to reflect that the central bank is in "wait-and-see" mode as it considers future rate hikes.

Between the lines: The Fed has adopted a more dovish stance in recent months — amid market volatility, shaken confidence in the global economy and criticism from President Trump. In the policy statement, officials removed language that "some further gradual [rate] increases" were coming and added that it would be "patient" in determining rate adjustments.

The Fed also signaled more flexibility in its plans for shrinking its multitrillion-dollar balance sheet. In a statement, officials said the Fed is "prepared to adjust any of the details for completing balance sheet normalization in light of economic and financial developments."

  • Late last year, Trump tweeted that the Fed should "stop with the 50 B's," referring to the $50 billion maximum the Fed can shrink the balance sheet per month.

Go deeper: Jerome Powell's obsession with inflation and economic growth

Go deeper

30 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's latest executive order: Buy American

President Joe R. Biden speaks about the economy before signing executive orders in the State Dining Room at the White House on Friday, Jan 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden will continue his flurry of executive orders on Monday, signing a new directive to require the federal government to “buy American” for products and services.

Why it matters: The executive action is yet another attempt by Biden to accomplish goals administratively without waiting for the backing of Congress. The new order echoes Biden's $400 billion campaign pledge to increase government purchases of American goods.

Tech digs in for long domestic terror fight

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With domestic extremist networks scrambling to regroup online, experts fear the next attack could come from a radicalized individual — much harder than coordinated mass events for law enforcement and platforms to detect or deter.

The big picture: Companies like Facebook and Twitter stepped up enforcement and their conversations with law enforcement ahead of Inauguration Day. But they'll be tested as the threat rises that impatient lone-wolf attackers will lash out.

The pandemic could be worsening childhood obesity

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The 10-month long school closures and the coronavirus pandemic are expected to have a big impact on childhood obesity rates.

Why it matters: About one in five children are obese in the U.S. — an all-time high — with worsening obesity rates across income and racial and ethnic groups, data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey show.