In a statement that marked the end of the era of “accommodative” monetary policy, Fed policymakers lifted the benchmark overnight lending rate by a quarter of a percentage point to a range of 2.00 percent to 2.25 percent. The U.S. central bank still foresees another rate hike in December, three more next year, and one increase in 2020. That would put the benchmark overnight lending rate at 3.4 percent, roughly half a percentage point above the Fed’s estimated “neutral” rate of interest, at which rates neither stimulate nor restrict the economy. That tight policy stance is projected to stay level through 2021, the timeframe of the Fed’s latest economic projections. “The thing that folks were watching for, which they went ahead and did, was remove the word ‘accommodative’ in regard to their monetary policy,” said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors. “It does seem to potentially indicate they believe monetary policy is becoming less accommodative and getting more towards that neutral rate.” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the removal of the wording, which had been a staple of the central bank’s guidance for financial markets and households for much of the past decade, did not signal… Read full this story
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