WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve this week will likely reinforce a theme that has cheered consumers and investors since the start of the year: No interest rate hikes are likely anytime soon.

The prospect of continued low rates is keeping borrowing costs low for households and companies. It is helping drive record highs in the stock market. It is supplying fuel for a U.S. economy that's growing steadily but fairly modestly and until recently was seen as facing the risk of a recession. And with inflation remaining unusually mild, the Fed is seen as able to stay on the sidelines through year's end and perhaps beyond.

The Fed will likely express that belief in a statement when its latest policy meeting ends Wednesday and in a news conference that Chairman Jerome Powell will hold afterward.

"The Fed will recognize the brighter economic outlook, but there will be no change at this meeting," said David Jones, an economist and author of books about the Fed.

On Friday, the government reported that the U.S. economy grew at a surprisingly strong 3.2 percent annual rate in the January-March quarter. It was the best performance for a first quarter in four years, and it far surpassed initial forecasts that annual growth could be as weak as 1 percent at the start of the year.