The U.S. Federal Reserve left its benchmark federal funds rate steady at 2.0 – 2.25 percent, as widely expected, but said growth of fixed investments by businesses, such as machinery or technology, had moderated from its rapid pace earlier in the year.
But the Fed’s policy-making arm, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), generally reiterated its view from September about the current strength of the U.S economy, where the labor market had “continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising at a strong pace.”
As in recent months, the FOMC also said it expects further gradual increases in the fed funds rate to be consistent with sustained economic expansion and inflation near its 2.0 percent objective.
“Risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced,” an unanimous FOMC said, as in September.
Today’s statement by the Fed did not include any update to its economic forecast from September when the fed funds rate was seen averaging 2.4 percent this year, implying one more rate hike, with economists looking for this hike to come at the Fed’s meeting in December.
The Fed has already raised its rate three times this year by a total of 75 basis points and 8 times since it began tightening its policy in December 2015.
The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System issued the following statement:
US Fed holds rate as growth in fixed investment easing