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Politics & MoneyMortgage

Federal Reserve elects not to raise rates in November

Experts still expect one final rate hike in 2018

The Federal Reserve released its statement from its November meeting showing it unanimously elected not to raise interest rates.

The Federal Open Market Committee began its November meeting Wednesday and ended with its announcement Thursday that it will not raise the federal funds rate. The committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 2% to 2.25%.

So far, the Fed has raised rates three times in 2018 – the first time in March, again in June and finally in September.

And while the FOMC did not elect to raise rates in November, it did express its view that it plans to continue increasing the federal funds rate.

“The committee expects that further gradual increases in the target range for the federal funds rate will be consistent with sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation near the Committee's symmetric 2% objective over the medium term,” the FOMC said in a statement. “Risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced.”

In its statement, the FOMC said that the labor market continues to strengthen, economic activity is rising and longer-term inflation expectations.

“Overall, the statement suggests that the Fed is still on track to continue raising interest rates gradually, with the next hike coming at its December meeting,” Capital Economics Senior Economist Michael Pearce said. “We anticipate that will be followed by two rate hikes in the first half of 2019. By the middle of next year, however, we expect economic growth to slow below its potential pace, which would force the Fed to the sidelines.”

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