Interest Rate Hike Still Expected in December

Posted on 03/09/2017 10:20 AM

As expected, the Federal Open Market Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 0.25% to 0.5%. Further, the FOMC says that the "case for an increase in the federal funds rate has continued to strengthen but decided, for the time being, to wait for some further evidence of continued progress toward its objective." When it does move to raise rates, it expects to do so gradually. Two committee members voted against leaving rates unchanged, as they would have preferred increasing rates to 0.50% to 0.75% at the November meeting. This was down from three dissenting members at the last meeting.

The FOMC noted that the labor market has continued to strengthen since it last met in September and that economic activity has picked up from the modest pace seen the first half of the year. But the committee did note that inflation remains below the committee's longer-run objective of 2%.

Today's FOMC meeting statement keeps adds to ideas a rate hike will likely come in December. The one wildcard regarding whether this will indeed occur is the results of next week's presidential election.

Click here to read the statement.

 

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