Unlike the European Central Bank, which is primarily focused on fighting inflation, the Federal Reserve has a dual mandate to promote price...

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Unlike the European Central Bank, which is primarily focused on fighting inflation, the Federal Reserve has a dual mandate to promote price stability and a healthy job market.

This has been especially tough lately. A Friday report showed the unemployment rate jumped to 5.7 percent. Inflation, based on the Consumer Price Index, gained 5 percent in the 12 months ending in June, the fastest pace in 17 years, largely due to surging oil prices.

The central bank is expected to hold its benchmark funds target rate steady at 2 percent in its statement today. These statements tend to follow a format, and may change only by a few words. Global Insight economist Brian Bethune isn’t expecting much change from the June release, though the bank could point to ongoing concerns over the fragility of credit and financial markets.

The simplicity and clarity of the statements are good, says JPMorgan Funds Chief Market Strategist David Kelly. “You want a Federal Reserve to be dull and dependable,” he says. “There’s enough excitement on Wall Street without the Fed making it exciting.”