Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – A strong U.S. economy convinced the U.S. Federal Reserve to retain the target range for its benchmark interest rate in a band ranging from 2% to 2.25%.
“Job gains have been strong, on average, in recent months, and the unemployment rate has declined,” said the Fed. “Household spending has continued to grow strongly, while growth of business fixed investment has moderated from its rapid pace earlier in the year. Risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced.”
“The Committee expects that further gradual increases in the target range for the federal funds rate will be consistent with sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation near the Committee’s symmetric 2 percent objective over the medium term.
Oddly, the Fed made no mention of the market volatility seen in October.
The Fed’s own interest rate forecast last updated in September indicated that one more rate hike would likely be appropriate in 2018. The Fed will make its final policy announcement of the year on December 18.
The Fed in September raised rates by 25 basis points to the current range, setting its benchmark interest rate at the highest level since April 2008. All nine voting members of the FOMC voted in favor of Thursday’s decision.
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