Jun 14, 2017

Fed announces 4th interest rate hike in 18 months

Cliff Owen/AP

The Federal Reserve will raise the rate at which banks borrow 0.25% to 1.125%, the fourth such increase since December of 2015. The move was announced Wednesday following the Fed's June meeting, and suggests Fed Chair Janet Yellen thinks the steadily falling unemployment rate will soon spark faster wage growth and overall price increases.

Not so fast: The board's statement was more cautious than the one it issued in March — reflecting the fact that core inflation growth has fallen for three straight months, a trend Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics calls "alarming, but not definitive." In other words, the Fed is currently sticking to its belief that inflation is going to accelerate this year — and that they must raise rates to head it off — but incoming data could cause it to abandon that view before July's meeting.

What it means for workers: The Fed thinks the U.S. economy is at full employment, and that significant further declines in the unemployment rate could spark a dangerous inflationary cycle. The concern is that low joblessness forces employers to pay higher wages, which then ups prices for products and services throughout the economy.

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 p.m. ET: 5,626,047 — Total deaths: 351,815 — Total recoveries — 2,314,233Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 p.m. ET: 1,684,173 — Total deaths: 99,123 — Total recoveries: 384,902 — Total tested: 14,907,041Map.
  3. Public health: Fauci says data is "really quite evident" against hydroxychloroquine — Nearly half of Americans say someone in their household has delayed medical care.
  4. Tech: Zipline drones deliver masks to hospitals; vaccines could be next
  5. Business: Boeing to lay off 6,770 more U.S. employees.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter ... vs. Trump.
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Updated 17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Live updates: SpaceX to launch historic crewed mission for NASA

The Falcon 9 rocket with a Crew Dragon atop. Photo: SpaceX

SpaceX will attempt to launch NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station today.

Why it matters: If all goes well, this launch — expected to happen at 4:33 p.m. ET — will mark the first time a private company has successfully launched people to orbit and the first crewed, orbital rocket launch from the U.S. in 9 years.

Follow along below for live coverage...

Pompeo tells Congress Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from China

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement Wednesday that he has certified to Congress that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from China and does not warrant special treatment under U.S. law.

Why it matters: Revoking Hong Kong's special status would hasten its economic and financial decline, already set in motion by China's growing political grip on the city. The preferential status that the U.S. has long granted Hong Kong has made the city a top U.S. trading partner.

Go deeper (1 min. read)ArrowUpdated 47 mins ago - World