The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) confirmed today that the benchmark interest rates will remain steady at 5.25% to 5.50%.
Speaking after the meeting, US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, was anticipated by many, especially considering the 525 basis point increase in the policy rate since March 2022. This brings the current rate to the 5.25% to 5.50% range. Notably, this decision comes even as the US inflation rate consistently surpasses the central bank’s desired levels, though the US economy continues to show strength.
Powell amplified that theme in a news conference after the Fed’s meeting, stating that the Fed is still reserving judgment on whether inflation is falling in a sustainable way. “We want to see convincing evidence, really, that we have reached the appropriate level,” suggesting that emerging price stability still needs to be assessed for longevity.
The Fed chair stressed his belief that curbing inflation is vital to ensuring the economy remains healthy.
“We know that we have to do it so that we can achieve the kind of labor market that we all want to achieve which is an extended period sustained period of strong labor market conditions that benefit all we know that the fact that we’ve come this far, lets us really proceed carefully.”
U.S. stocks experienced a decline on Wednesday following the decision. The key indices, including the S&P 500, the Nasdaq Composite, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, all recorded drops.
Despite keeping its policy rate unchanged, the Fed indicated a potential increase later in the year and suggested that the target would exceed 5% until 2024. This was also followed by an increase in t short-term Treasury yields.
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