Federal Reserve leaves interest rates steady noting ‘lack of further progress’ on inflation

Fed Chair Jerome Powell via CNBC Television YouTube Channel^ on a Macbook Pro

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve voted to keep interest rates steady and postponed anticipated rate cuts stemming from elevated inflation across the U.S., which remains above the central bank’s 2% threshold.

The Federal reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee said in a statement that the central bank left interest rates for overnight bank borrowing within a range of 5.25%-5.5%: “The economic outlook is uncertain, and the Committee remains highly attentive to inflation risks.”  In addition, with CPI inflation at 3.5%, the FOMC said, “In recent months, there has been a lack of further progress toward the Committee’s 2% inflation objective.”

Inflation has dropped dramatically from a high point of 9.1% annually to 2.7% as measured by the personal consumption expenditures, or PCE index. However, it remains more than a percentage point higher than the Fed’s target rate of 2%.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell said at a press conference in Washington D.C. on Wednesday: “So far the data has not given us that greater confidence. It is likely that gaining such greater confidence will take longer than previously expected.” While the possibility of an interest rate hike in the coming months was raised (before the central bank moves forward with cuts), Powell said: “It is unlikely that the next policy rate move will be a hike.”

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