Fed holds rates at zero, projects two hikes by the end of 2023

Fed officials pull forward the date of liftoff as economy recovers

Article content

Federal Reserve officials held interest rates near zero but signalled they expect two increases by the end of 2023, pulling forward the date of liftoff as the economy recovers.

“Progress on vaccinations has reduced the spread of COVID-19 in the United States,” the Federal Open Market Committee said in a statement released Wednesday following the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting. “Amid this progress and strong policy support, indicators of economic activity and employment have strengthened.”

The central bank held the target range for its benchmark policy rate unchanged at zero to 0.25 per cent — where it’s been since March 2020 — and pledged to continue asset purchases at a US$120 billion monthly pace until “substantial further progress” had been made on employment and inflation.

The quarterly projections showed 13 of 18 officials favoured at least one rate increase by the end of 2023, versus seven in March. Eleven officials saw at least two hikes by the end of that year. In addition, seven of them saw a move as early as 2022, up from four.

Article content

The dollar rose, stocks declined and yields on 10-year Treasuries jumped following the news.

The FOMC vote was unanimous. Chair Jerome Powell will hold a press conference will hold a virtual press conference at 2:30 p.m. Washington time.

The U.S. economic recovery is gathering strength as business restrictions lift and social activity increases across the country. Robust demand from consumers and businesses alike has outstripped capacity, leading to bottlenecks in the supply chain, longer lead times and higher prices. At the same time, employment growth has disappointed over the past couple of months.

Fed officials have said such “fits and starts” are to be expected given the unprecedented nature of the pandemic and expressed optimism about the outlook for the second half of the year as more Americans get vaccinated.

Labor Department reports on employment published since the last gathering of the U.S. central bank’s policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee in late April have disappointed relative to forecasters’ expectations. The U.S. unemployment rate was still elevated at 5.8 per cent in May, with total employment still millions of jobs below pre-pandemic levels.

Consumer-price pressures, on the other hand, have proven hotter than expected. Labor Department figures showed a 0.8 per cent jump in prices in April and a 0.6 per cent rise in May, marking the two biggest monthly increases since 2009.


Source link


Twitter says it saw 600% increase in daily average tweets around COVID-19 during India’s second wave of coronavirus

The company also found that tweets from medical professionals sharing information in April-May were 1.5 times that in the preceding period.Twitter India: Twitter...

Police use water cannons to disperse SAD-BSP workers in Mohali

Police on Tuesday used water cannons to disperse Shiromani Akali Dal and BSP leaders and workers when they were forcing their way to...

COVID-19 vaccination: Marginalised sections would bear brunt due to digital divide, says SC

A vaccination policy exclusively relying on digital portal CoWIN for inoculating those aged between 18 to 44 years would be unable to meet...

How To Use Avple To Boost Your Marketing Efforts

In this day and age, your company’s marketing efforts are no longer enough to give it the visibility it needs. Instead of relying on...