FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Federal Reserve is keeping its key interest rate around 5%.

This is the first time it has kept the rate steady in more than a year. The reason for the hold is cooling inflation.

The Fed wants to assess whether it has already raised rates high enough to tame price increases.

Jeff Cooperstein is a senior researcher and professor at the Sam Walton College of Business.

He says this shows a lot of progress and hopes this will mean an increase in the construction of housing in the area.

“It shows that things are getting controlled that the Fed policies have slowed the economy down in terms of the price increases, but they haven’t pushed us into a recession,” Cooperstein said. “Looking at it from the supply side, hopefully, interest rates flattening will mean that businesses will continue constructing and maybe even ramping up the pace of construction.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced June 13 that the 12-month inflation rate had fallen to 4%, the lowest reading in more than two years.

Cooperstein says interest rates won’t be lowered until the inflation rate is closer to 2%.