Fed Votes to Leave Rates Unchanged
November 9, 2018
The Federal Reserve voted on Thursday to keep its key interest rate on hold, but signaled that rate hikes and tightened borrowing costs are likely on the horizon.
The Fed kept its benchmark target for rates unchanged in the 2 percent to 2.25 percent range. The Fed’s rate does not directly influence mortgage rates but does tend to have an effect.
“The labor market has continued to strengthen and … economic activity has been rising at a strong rate,” the U.S. central bank said in a statement. The Fed’s only note of caution on the economy was that growth in business investment had moderated in the third quarter. But inflation remains near the 2 percent target.
The Fed, which has already increased rates by one-quarter point three times this year, indicated that its next rate hike will likely be in December.
“Interestingly, there was no mention of the softer housing data,” Michelle Meyer, U.S. economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said in a note about the Fed’s report. “Moreover, there was no mention of the sell-off in the stock market in October, which implies that Fed officials were largely willing to shrug it off.”
“Fed leaves rates unchanged, says U.S. economy strong,” Reuters (Nov. 8, 2018) and “Fed leaves rates unchanged, notes slowing in business investment,” CNBC (Nov. 8, 2018)
Updated: November 16, 2018