The Federal Reserve has opted to keep interest rates steady at a 22-year high of 5.25 to 5.5 percent, marking the second consecutive meeting without an increase. This decision comes despite evident strength in the U.S. economy, as officials deliberate whether prior rate hikes have adequately curbed demand to control inflation.
The Fed commented that recent indicators point to a robust expansion in economic activity during Q3. Job gains, although slightly moderated, continue to be strong, and the unemployment rate is persistently low. However, inflation remains a concern, being elevated above the Fed’s long-term objective of 2 percent.
The Federal Open Market Committee highlighted the resilience of the U.S. banking system but acknowledged that tighter credit conditions might impact economic activity and inflation. The Committee expressed commitment to closely monitor inflation risks and emphasized its readiness to adjust the policy stance if necessary.
Post the announcement, the two-year Treasury yield, indicative of interest rate expectations, fell to 4.98 percent, its lowest in almost three weeks. Simultaneously, the 10-year yield, reflecting growth and inflation expectations, showed a brief dip before recovering.
Despite 11 rate increases since March 2022, U.S. economic demand continues to outperform expectations, with high consumer spending and low unemployment. The inflation rate meanwhile has retreated from its June 2022 peak of 9.1 percent to 3.7 percent in September.
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