Fed Raises Interest Rates, Signals Faster Hikes on the Way

Fed Raises Interest Rates, Signals Faster Hikes on the Way

Powell was speaking at a press conference after the Fed announced its decision to raise interest rates.

The so-called " dot plot" released Wednesday showed eight Fed policy makers expected four or more quarter-point rate increases for the full year, compared with seven officials during the previous forecast round in March. He'll likely address the decision to hike rates and the Fed's views on the overall economic outlook.

Estimates of longer-run interest rates were unchanged and seen reaching as high as 3.4 percent in 2020 before dropping to 2.9 percent in the longer run. The Fed expects inflation higher than 2% over the next two years, according to its latest projections. The step was needed, the Fed said, to be sure rates stay within the intended boundaries.

Even so, raising rates too quickly could prevent vulnerable Americans and pockets of the country still struggling from reaping the benefits of a strong economy.

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U.S. unemployment dropped to 3.8% in May, its lowest level since April 2000 and one of the lowest levels since the second world war.

A gradual rise in inflation is coinciding with newfound economic strength.

The Fed's pace of rate hikes for the rest of the year could end up reflecting a tug of war between a sturdy economy and the risks to growth, including from a potential trade war that could break out between the United States and such key trading partners as China, the European Union, Canada and Mexico. It's the second rate hike under Powell, a Republican appointed to lead the Fed by President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhat you need to know about Tuesday's elections Danny Tarkanian wins Nevada GOP congressional primary Laxalt, Sisolak to face off in Nevada governor's race MORE. All those countries have vowed to retaliate against any US tariffs with their own penalties against USA goods. Officials have also set in motion a plan to reduce the Fed's bond holdings, as the central bank moves away from accommodative policies employed during and after the 2008 financial crisis.

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