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US Fed Meeting 2024: Fed keeps interest rates steady as Powell says ‘path forward is still uncertain’

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US Fed Meeting Live: U.S. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference at the headquarters of the Federal Reserve on January 31, 2024 in Washington, DC.

US Fed Meeting 2024: Following a two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the US Federal Reserve issued its interest rate decision on Wednesday, maintaining the benchmark interest rates at 5.25 to 5.50 percent for the fourth consecutive meeting, in line with Street predictions. Since March 2022, the central bank has increased rates eleven times in an effort to slow down the fastest rate of inflation in decades.…Read More

Since then, price increases have significantly decreased and are gradually approaching the Fed’s 2% target. According to the Fed’s own projections from last month, rates will be cut in 2024. However, the bank’s most recent policy statement, which was released on Wednesday, cast doubt on the prospect of a rate cut in March.

“Until it has increased confidence that inflation is moving sustainably toward 2 percent, the Committee does not anticipate it will be appropriate to lower the target range for the federal funds rate,” the statement stated.

In a press conference, Fed chief Jerome Powell said the Fed has likely completed all the interest rate hikes it needs to in this economic tightening cycle. But he said there may not be cuts on the immediate horizon.

“We believe that our policy rate is likely at its peak for this tightening cycle and that if the economy evolves broadly as expected, it will likely be appropriate to begin dialing back policy restraint at some point this year,” Powell said during the conference.

“But the economy has surprised forecasters in many ways since the pandemic and ongoing progress toward our 2% inflation objective is not assured,” he added. “The economic outlook is uncertain and we remain highly attentive to inflation risks. We are prepared to maintain the current target range for the federal funds rate for longer if appropriate.”

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