Powell Responds To Legislative Pressure As Feds Hold Rates Steady

By PATRICK LAVERY Saying the economy has surprised even the experts since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic nearly four years ago, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday announced that the Fed would hold its ground for now and keep its policy interest rate unchanged at its current range of 5.25% to 5.5%. “We believe that our policy rate is likely at its peak for this tightening cycle and that, if the economy evolves broadly as expected, it will likely be appropriate to begin dialing back policy restraint at some point this year,” Powell said in prepared remarks following the first two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting of 2024. The decision by the FOMC was not unexpected, and…

Rate Hike Pause Predicted, Investors Watching Closely For End Of Year Indicators

By PATRICK LAVERY With the end of the third quarter of 2023 in sight, indications are that the Federal Reserve will pause hiking its federal funds rate this week – as it did in June before again raising the target range in July – and investors will be watching closely on Wednesday to see if Chairman Jerome Powell gives any indication as to what they might do to end the calendar year. The FOMC’s course of action, while holding no direct bearing on mortgage rates, acts as a strong indicator of what direction those rates will go in next. According to Business Insider, a pause on the part of the Fed won’t do much to move mortgage rates, currently above…

Federal Reserve Pauses Interest Rate Hikes

By PATRICK LAVERY The Federal Open Market Committee called a pause on their rate hikes Wednesday, electing to keep the target range for the federal funds rate unchanged at 5% to 5.25% while continuing to significantly reduce securities holdings. It was not a complete victory lap for Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who told reporters at a press conference that the FOMC overwhelmingly expects to raise interest rates “somewhat further” before the end of 2023. The reason for the future uncertainty in interest rates continues to be inflation, which is still “well above” the Fed’s longer-run 2% goal, according to Powell. The Summary of Economic Projections released concurrently with Wednesday’s announcement kept that 2% target destined for 2025. A survey…

All Eyes On The Federal Reserve

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Industry leaders are speculating about what officials at the Federal Reserve will do concerning rate increases during their meeting this week. In May, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said they were prepared to raise rates again if economic conditions worsened, but hinted at a wait-and-see attitude regarding this month’s meeting. Policymakers may even skip raising rates after a smaller than expected rise in the Consumer Price Index, released on Tuesday. CNN reporter Matt Egan said the CPI report gives officials the cover they need to hold off on increasing rates this month. “Investors are becoming increasingly confident that the Fed is going to keep interest rates steady after … 10 consecutive interest rate hikes. The Fed has…