Federal Reserve Pauses Interest Rate Hikes Amid Declining Grocery and Gas Prices, but Future Hike Looms: Here’s What You Need to Know
As grocery and gas prices decline, the Federal Reserve has decided to hold the key interest rate steady, breaking a streak of historic hikes aimed at curbing inflation while avoiding an economic downturn. However, economic indicators are sending mixed signals, with experts predicting at least one more rate hike this year due to persistently high inflation and robust job growth.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell emphasizes the need to assess the impact of previous rate increases on the economy, as well as the consequences of recent regional bank failures on lending standards and potential economic weaknesses. Stay informed about the evolving situation and its implications.
How long will Powell’s speech last today?
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to deliver a media conference today, starting at 2:30 p.m. ET. USA TODAY’s economics reporter Paul Davidson will be present at the event to provide live coverage. Stay informed about Powell’s remarks as he addresses important topics related to the current state of the economy and potential changes in the Fed’s interest rate policy.
How much is the current Fed interest rate?
The key interest rate is currently set by the Federal Reserve at a range of 5% to 5.25%. The rate reached its highest point in 17 years in May when it was increased to this level. The Fed has raised interest rates nine times in a row since March 2022, when they were raised from near-zero levels in an effort to counteract soaring inflation, which peaked last June at its highest level in four decades amid the peak of the COVID-19 epidemic. Keep up with the most recent information on the Fed’s interest rate decisions and how they affect the economy.
Will the Fed increase interest rates once more?
While many anticipate a split Fed to pause its rate increases on Wednesday, experts are unable to agree on how it will go as the economy continues to thrive amid ongoing inflation.
Some believed the central bank may implement a quarter-point increase if the acceleration of prices was greater than anticipated before the release of a crucial inflation report on Tuesday. Others expressed the opinion that rate increases were final for the year.
According to Barclays, the Fed would raise interest rates once more if the economy gained more than 200,000 jobs last month and core inflation increased by at least 0.3%.
Employers far exceeded that goal, creating an astounding 339,000 new employees in May. According to the consumer price index (CPI) of the Labour Department, core prices—which exclude volatile food and energy goods and so better represent longer-term trends—rose 0.4% for the third consecutive month.
The Labour Department reports that the unemployment rate increased from a five-decade low of 3.4% to 3.7%, the highest level since October. This number is derived from a separate home survey. Additionally, the core price annual growth rate dropped from 5.5% to 5.3%, the lowest level since November 2021.
There might be no rate increase by the Fed in June. However, Americans are still liable for the previous 10
In general, inflation fell in May for the 11th consecutive month as petrol prices more than offset the previous month’s increase, and food price hikes moderated once again. According to the CPI, consumer prices increased by 4%, down from 4.9% in April and a four-decade high of 9.1% last June. The annual increase was the lowest since March 2021, while monthly prices increased by 0.1% after increasing by 0.4% in April.