As tropical storms continue to threaten the U.S. coast, new reports show a rate hike in December may be off the books.
So far this year, the Federal Reserve voted to raise interest rates for the second time this year in June. The first rate hike occurred in its March meeting, just after deciding to raise rates three months before in December 2016.
Many experts predicted the third and final rate hike would occur in December, however this month’s natural disasters may create a stumbling block in the Fed’s potential plans.
Houston, Texas, continues to clean up the after effects from Category 4 storm Hurricane Harvey, which left billions of dollars in damages, homes destroyed and tragically, an estimated 70 deaths.
But before Texans were able to even take a breath, Florida began evacuating some counties in anticipation of Category 5 storm Hurricane Irma, which is expected to hit Florida by Sunday.
New York, Fed Governor Lael Brainard explained the board needs to move forward cautiously until inflation is able to catch up with the Fed’s goal, according to an article by CNBC. She also explained the hurricanes will increase economic uncertainties.
From the article:
Addressing the impact of Hurricane Harvey last week, Brainard said it raises uncertainties for the U.S. economy and will likely have a "notable" effect on growth in the third quarter, though that should be followed by a year-end rebound.
While San Francisco Fed President John Williams explained the Federal Open Markets Committee is about halfway there when it comes to interest rate hikes, just when those rate hikes will occur is still up in the air.
The minutes from the Federal Reserve’s July meeting shows the members are split on whether the central bank will raise interest rates again this year.
But while the uncertainty remains surrounding a rate hike in December, Brainard explained the Fed could still be on track to begin reducing its balance street in September.
From the article:
Brainard said the U.S. economy is on a "solid footing" and benefiting from two years of an "extremely welcome" rebound in its global peers. She also suggested she supports announcing a reduction of the Fed's $4.5 trillion balance sheet this month, as widely expected.