The US interest rate will be increased to a target range of 1.5% to 1.75% following the first meeting between Federal Reserve officials and their new chairman Jerome Powell.
"The economic outlook has strengthened in recent months", the committee said in its post-meeting statement, a sentence that had not been in previous releases. Wednesday's action was approved 8-0, with the Fed avoiding any dissents at the first meeting Powell has presided over as chairman since succeeding Janet Yellen last month. About the trade, Powell said it did not impact the current decision but did voice what business contacts told Fed members: concern about trade policy. Fed representatives now utter an upsurge from their former prediction done prior to the Republican tax cuts was concluded.
The Fed projected three rate hikes this year at its December meeting, but investors took an upbeat assessment of the US economy by Powell late last month as an indication that a fourth rate hike could be on the cards.
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If the Fed keeps raising its long-run target for its benchmark interest rate, it would nearly certainly mean the central bank plans to raise rates more aggressively.
Unusually low inflation, combined with slow economic growth, helps explain why the Fed has steadily reduced its "longer run" fed funds target since 2012.
As had been widely predicted, the Federal Reserve made a decision to increase its interest rate by 0.25% during its March meeting.
"The guidance in terms of the future rate hikes is a touch more hawkish than originally expected". The average credit-card rate is already a full percentage point higher than it was a year ago and is likely to jump more this year as the Fed increases rates further.
So far, the Fed has been moving gradually to tighten monetary policy to prevent the world's largest economy from overheating.
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"I read this as the Fed is still having trouble rectifying moderate growth and subdued inflation", said economist Lindsey Piegza of Stifel.
The Fed said in its statement the economic viewpoint has reinforced in contemporary months.
Money managers have reacted to the rate hike with little if no surprise. Unemployment was expected to dip to 3.9 percent this year and next before returning to 4 percent.
Said said tax-oriented leases enable companies to take advantage of reduced rates that are passed through by the lessor, and in some instances, afford the opportunity to purchase the equipment at the conclusion of the lease at an agreed-upon value at the time of lease origination.
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