Monday, 15 October, 2018

Fed hikes rate for second time this year

Jerome Powell chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell chairman of the Federal Reserve
Russell Knight | 13 June, 2018, 22:25

This report, released by Federal Reserve, includes the FOMC's projection for inflation and economic growth over the next 2 years and, more importantly, a breakdown of individual FOMC member's interest rate forecasts.

They lifted the federal funds rate, which helps determine rates for mortgages, credit cards and other borrowing, to a range of 1.75% to 2%.

The statement omitted previous language saying that the main rate would remain "for some time" below longer-run levels. That puts the Fed on track for four rate hikes total in 2018, something the Fed hasn't done since 2006. Should the Fed's expectations prove accurate, its rate policy would then be meant to slow the economy. The central bank is aiming to keep record low unemployment and a glut of federal spending from pushing inflation beyond the Fed's 2 percent target.

The decision reflected an economy that's getting even stronger.

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Though rates are now roughly positive on an inflation-adjusted basis, the Fed still described its monetary policy as "accommodative", with gradual rate increases likely warranted as a sturdy economy enters a 10th straight year of growth.

The Fed's new projection for the pace of rate hikes shows four rate this year and three in 2019 - both unchanged from its previous forecast in March - and one in 2020, down from the two that had been projected previously.

A gradual rise in inflation is coinciding with newfound economic strength. It's the second rate hike under Powell, a Republican appointed to lead the Fed by President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhat you need to know about Tuesday's elections Danny Tarkanian wins Nevada GOP congressional primary Laxalt, Sisolak to face off in Nevada governor's race MORE.

Powell faces a tricky balancing act as the Fed attempts to bring interest rates toward historical averages. Not since 1969 has the jobless rate been lower. All those countries have vowed to retaliate against any US tariffs with their own penalties against USA goods.

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