Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Fed Stands Pat

No surprises on interest rates this month: The Federal Reserve announced yesterday that it held its benchmark interest rate steady after its latest policy meeting, as had widely been expected. The Fed kept the benchmark federal funds rate at a range of 0.75 percent to 1 percent, following the 0.25 percent increase in March.

The Fed acknowledged that the overall economy and consumer spending both slowed down during the first quarter. But they view it as temporary, and think the economy in general is strong enough to withstand further hikes.

In other words, the Fed expects to continue raising interest rates – and the next hike may be in June. The majority of the Fed's 17 leaders predict two or more rate hikes for the rest of the year. That's a faster pace compared to the last two years, when the Fed only raised rates once a year.

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