Fed signals interest rate cuts possible later this year

19 Juin, 2019, 22:38 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • A currency dealer works in front of electronic boards showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index. Kim Hong-Ji Reuters  File

It is a committee within the Federal Reserve System that is entrusted under USA law with overseeing the nation's open market operations as well as making key decisions about interest rates and the management of the money supply in the United States economy.

The Fed removed the word "patient" from the statement, the clearest indication yet that the central bank is likely to cut rates soon. That language emerged in January after the Fed abandoned the view that more "further gradual increases" in interest rates were likely to be warranted in the coming months.

"We will act as needed, including promptly if that's appropriate, and use our tools to sustain the expansion", he said.

The Fed, which held rates steady after the end of its latest two-day policy meeting, said it "will act as appropriate to sustain" a almost 10-year economic expansion and dropped a promise to be "patient" in adjusting rates.

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President Donald Trump has been clamoring for the Fed to lower interest rates, and has reportedly considered firing or demoting Powell.

Despite the hints at rate cuts to come, the Fed still has a positive view about the economy. The forecast for 2019 notched down to 1.9 percent from 2.0 percent in March. It described the labor market as "strong" and said economic activity is rising at a "moderate" rate, a slight downgrade from the "solid" rate it saw at the last Fed meeting.

Those actions caused Fed officials to change their tone from largely dismissing the macroeconomic fallout of Trump's trade policies to worrying that a new world order of persistent high tariffs and reordered global supply chains could be emerging. Lowering that rate can help stimulate the economy as well as increase inflation, which remains shy of the Fed's target of 2% a year. It appeared many, and perhaps most, policy-makers trimmed a full half percentage point from their outlook for rates.

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, who had argued that rates should be cut, dissented in Wednesday's policy decision. He preferred to cut the target at this meeting.

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