US Fed raises benchmark interest rate

Federal Reserve officials raised interest rates for a third time this year and reaffirmed their outlook for further gradual hikes well into 2019, risking fresh criticism from President Donald Trump.

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During his remarks Wednesday, Trump reiterated that Fed officials are raising rates because the US economy is “doing so well”.

Mr Trump’s position was markedly different when he was a presidential candidate, attacking then Fed Governor Janet Yellen and the United States central bank for keeping interest rates low after the 2008 financial crisis and contributing to what he said was a “big, fat, juicy bubble”. Banks raise rates on what they are selling before they raise rates on what they are buying, Kapfidze said.

“My colleagues and I are focused exclusively” on the Fed’s mission to maintain low unemployment and stable inflation, Powell said during a press conference.

The old Fed statement said: “The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative”. Investors will keep an eye on a news conference by Chairman Jerome Powell for more clues to the Fed’s views on the USA economy and much further interest rates are likely to rise.

Student-loan rates have been climbing along with the yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which has risen above 3 percent.

And those with adjustable rate mortgages expecting a rate reset this year will see the rate jump to 5.25 percent or more.

Central bankers raised expectations for a fourth rate hike in December, with a majority now in favor of such a move.

Additionally, despite the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the PCE pointing at rising inflation as well as increasing average hourly earnings, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said he does not see a buildup in fundamental inflation and does not anticipate prices surprising to the upside. A tight employment market, in this scenario, will accelerate wages and inflation and prod the Fed to keep tightening credit to ensure that the economy doesn’t overheat.

The Fed’s current policy statement has included that description of loose policy as a staple element in recent years, though officials recently have described it as out of date and likely to be removed, either this week or in the near future.

In America, the Fed is now forecasting a further rate hike before the year’s end and three more in 2019, plus another in 2020. In practice, the fact that the economy did not respond positively to the Fed’s artificially low policy rates and its massive asset purchases reinforced the belief that the natural rate of interest had fallen.

While that was little changed from its previous projections in June, it would put the benchmark overnight lending rate at 3.4 percent, roughly half a percentage point above the Fed’s estimated “neutral” rate of interest, by 2020.

Higher interest rates make borrowing more expensive, slowing economic activity and curbing price inflation.

By removing that language, the Fed may be signaling its resolve to keep raising rates.

“We don’t consider political factors”. Savers can also typically find better rates at online banks than at traditional ones – they sometimes even match the rate of inflation, which was 2.7 percent last month.

Powell said the Fed was hearing a “rising chorus” of concerns from businesses around the country about uncertainty and rising costs.

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Mr Powell said the U.S. economy has successfully absorbed the increases so far.

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell