The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged Wednesday but signaled it is ready to cut rates in the future if necessary to shore up a slowing U.S. economy.

The central bank's rate-setting committee said the economic outlook is still generally positive — with low unemployment and solid consumer spending. But trade tensions, a slowdown in manufacturing and sagging business investment have injected more uncertainty into the crystal ball.

"In light of these uncertainties and muted inflation pressures, the Committee will closely monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook and will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion," the Fed said in a statement.

MPR