May 22, 2019

Fed: No plans to raise rates even if economy improves

Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell speaks during a press conference

Fed chairman Jerome Powell speaks at a press conference in May. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The Federal Reserve plans to remain "patient" in determining future moves in interest rates, even if "global economic and financial conditions continued to improve," according to minutes released Wednesday of the Fed's most recent meeting. They did not raise or lower interest rates at that meeting, despite pressure from President Trump to lower them.

Why it matters: The U.S. economy has been humming along — with solid job gains, low unemployment and receding "uncertainties affecting the U.S. and global economic outlooks," per the meeting minutes — but the market is still betting that the central bank will move to cut rates before the end of the year, not raise them. The bets have grown with low inflation readings below the Fed's 2% target. But Fed officials noted "muted inflation pressures" as one of the reasons a patient approach will be appropriate "for some time."

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