Fed announces rate hike decision

Irving Hamilton
November 9, 2018

However, the committee said it still expected to hike rates again this year.

Fed officials also upgraded their assessment of the economy, forecasting growth of 3.1 percent for the year.

Higher rates can impact consumers by increasing borrowing costs, which have already skyrocketed.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is not slated to give a fresh economic outlook, nor is there a scheduled press conference this week.

The FOMC raised rates a quarter-point at its September meeting, the third rate hike of 2018.

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"Job gains have been strong, on average, in recent months, and the unemployment rate has declined".

"If there's one no-brainer from this meeting, this is it", Bankrate.com senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick said. So far, though, inflation has remained around the Fed's 2 percent target for annual price increases.

Household spending has continued to grow strongly, while growth of business fixed investment has moderated from its rapid pace earlier in the year. The Federal Open Market Committee, the governing board of the Fed, left the door open for another rate hike in December.

Trump's public criticism has aroused concern that he is intruding on the political independence the Fed needs to assure markets that it will make tough choices when needed to keep inflation under control. He has instead expressed determination to pursue the Fed's mandate of maximizing employment and stabilizing prices without regard to political considerations.

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