Get Adobe Flash player

Central bank points to strengthening labour market and rising economic activity

about 4 hours ago

Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen speaks during a news conference after a two-day Federal Open Markets Committee policy meeting in Washington. Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Reuters




US Federal Reserve officials voted unanimously to leave interest rates unchanged while signalling they remain on track to hike once more this year, a day before President Donald Trump plans to unveil his choice to lead the US central bank.

Recent data indicate that “the labour market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising at a solid rate despite hurricane-related disruptions,” the Federal Open Market Committee said in a statement Wednesday following a two-day meeting in Washington.

Officials gave no sign that their expectations for a third interest-rate increase this year have been derailed. The Fed repeated its assessment that, while inflation may “remain somewhat below 2 per cent in the near term,” it’s expected to stabilise around the central bank’s 2 per cent objective “over the medium term”.

The statement is likely to reinforce expectations for a December hike. All four rate hikes since late 2015 have come at gatherings that were accompanied by a press conference, which occur at alternating meetings. – Bloomberg