Stock market news today: Stocks rise as Fed holds rates steady

Fed now sees ‘strong’ US economy

The Federal Reserve held rates unchanged on Wednesday but provided new updates to its assessment of the economy.

Yahoo Finance’s Jennifer Schonberger reports:

In its statement on Wednesday, the Fed upgraded its assessment of the economy to “strong” in the third quarter from “solid” in September.

The central bank noted job gains have “moderated,” after having noted in September that job growth had “slowed” during the previous inter-meeting period.

“Recent indicators suggest that economic activity expanded at a strong pace in the third quarter,” the Fed said. “Job gains have moderated since earlier in the year but remain strong, and the unemployment rate has remained low. Inflation remains elevated.”

This updated characterization of the economy comes after third quarter GDP data published last week showed growth clocked in at a whopping 4.9% annualized rate over the summer months, driven in large part by strong consumer spending, punctuated by a surge in retail sales in September.

The Fed reiterated that future rate hikes would be contingent on the impact of previous rate hikes on the economy, lag effects and economic developments.

The decision to hold rates steady was unanimous.

“In assessing the appropriate stance of monetary policy, the Committee will continue to monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook,” the statement read. “The Committee would be prepared to adjust the stance of monetary policy as appropriate if risks emerge that could impede the attainment of the Committee’s goals.”

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