Following the central bank’s decision to keep interest rates unchanged, a recurring theme of “patience” was mentioned in Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s press conference following the rate announcement. Additionally Powell mentioned that the U.S. economy is in a “good place.”
In move that was widely anticipated by most market experts, the Federal Reserve on Wednesday elected to keep rates unchanged, holding its policy rate in a range between 2.25 percent and 2.5 percent. In addition, the central bank alluded to no more rate hikes for the rest of 2019 after initially forecasting two.
“The U.S. economy is in a good place,” said Powell. “We will continue to use our monetary policy tools to help keep it there. The jobs market is strong, showing healthier wage gains and prompting many people to join or remain in the workforce. The unemployment rate is near historic lows and inflation remains near our 2 percent goal.”
The capital markets initially expected rates to remain steady after the central bank spoke in more dovish tones following the fourth and final rate hike for 2018 last December. Prior to the announcement, the CME Group’s FedWatch Tool was expecting a 98.7 percent chance that rates would remain steady.
“We continue to expect that the American economy will continue to grow at a solid pace in 2019 although likely lower than the very strong pace in 2018,” said Powell. “We believe our current policy stance is appropriate.”
In the following video, Matt Maley, Miller Tabak Managing Director, Equity Strategist, talks the Fed, Jay Powell, and the market outlook.
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