The Federal Reserve held its meeting on the current state of the U.S. economy, where it elected not to raise interest rates during its July 31 to August 1 meeting.
Per the market’s expectations, the Federal Open Markets Committee unanimously voted to keep the federal funds target the same at 1.75% to 3%.
But despite its decision not to raise rates, the FOMC gave a positive outlook of the U.S. economy, listing the positive economic trends members continue to see.
The committee expressed that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising at a strong rate. Job gains have been strong, on average, in recent months, and the unemployment rate has stayed low. Household spending and business fixed investment have seen strong grown, and on a 12-month basis, both overall inflation and inflation for items other than food and energy remain near 2%. The committee’s expectations for Indicators of longer-term inflation are little changed, on balance.
While the Fed didn’t raise rates at its July/August meeting, it is still expected to raise rates twice more in 2018, despite recent criticism from President Donald Trump.
At its last meeting, while the Federal Reserve did mention some global economic challenges during its meeting, they were not the focus and did not seem to affect members’ predictions for the future of rate hikes.
At the most recent meeting, the Fed’s statement did not reflect concern for global economic challenges, however the meetings minutes, which come out later in August, could reveal more. It did mention that, as it decides on future rate hikes and its expectations for inflation, international developments will be taken into account.
“In determining the timing and size of future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate, the committee will assess realized and expected economic conditions relative to its maximum employment objective and its symmetric 2% inflation objective,” the statement said. “This assessment will take into account a wide range of information, including measures of labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial and international developments.”