FOMC leaves benchmark interest rate unchanged at target range of 2

Marco Green
November 9, 2018

At that meeting, Fed officials also projected a total of four hikes for 2018 and three next year.

Higher rates can impact consumers by increasing borrowing costs, which have already skyrocketed. "By the middle of next year, however, we expect economic growth to slow below its potential pace, which would force the Fed to the sidelines", he said in a note.

Beginning in late 2015, the central bank has gradually raised its key rate from a record low near zero, where it had held it since the 2008 financial crisis to try to stabilize the financial system and stimulate growth.

Investors widely expect policymakers to keep the target range steady for the federal funds rate, after officials at the US central bank raised it in September for the third time this year.

"If there's one no-brainer from this meeting, this is it", senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick said.

Household spending has continued to grow strongly, while growth of business fixed investment has moderated from its rapid pace earlier in the year.

If Jerome Powell, the Fed's chairman, sounds calm about inflation, the markets will rally. The Federal Open Market Committee, the governing board of the Fed, left the door open for another rate hike in December.

While Trump has called the Fed's rate hikes his "biggest threat", Powell, who was Trump's hand-picked choice to lead the Fed, has avoided responding directly to the criticism.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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