Latest Global Business News

Fed keeps benchmark interest rate unchanged at 2.25-2.5% range

 
The Federal Reserve has left U.S. rates unchaged.
No more rate hikes are expected for the rest of the year either,... but one might happen in 2020.
 
Lee Seung-jae reports.
 
Following its two-day meeting,... the Federal Open Market Committee announced Wednesday that it has left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at the target range of 2-and-a-quarter percent to 2-and-a-half percent.
 
After raising rates for five consecutive quarters,... the decision comes amid increasing concern about slowing economic growth.
Analyzing data released at the end of the two-day meeting,... the FOMC expects not to raise rates again at all this year,... projects a single rate increase in 2020 and none in 2021.
 
Fed officials had initially expected two rate increases this year and one more in 2020.
At a news conference shortly after the meeting, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the Fed expects the U.S. economy to "grow at a solid pace" in 2019,... but will be slower than last year's quick acceleration.
 
"The U.S. economy is in a good place, and we will continue to use our monetary policy tools to help keep it there.(cut) We continue to expect that the American economy will grow at a solid pace in 2019, although likely slower than the very strong pace of 2018. We believe that our current policy stance is appropriate."
 
fed rate freeze
 
Powell, also did not rule out the possibility that, based on the current condition of the U.S. economy,... the Fed's next move could be a rate cut.
 
Looking to the future,... eleven committee members said they do not expect any more rate increases in 2019,... while four said they expect one.
 
None of the members expect a rate cut. In 2020, seven members expect no additional rate hikes,... while four expect one.
Three expect two increases,... and the other three members predict three to four.
 
Analysts believe the Fed will hold rates steady as Fed officials now expect economic growth of 2-point-1-percent for 2019, down from the 2-point-3 it forecast in December,... but warn a downward revision on growth could spook investors.
 

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