May 1, 2019

Fed leaves rates on hold as political pressure ramps up

Fed chairman Jerome Powell speaks at a news conference in March. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged on Wednesday as expected and indicated no change to its "patience" stance on monetary policy, as the Trump administration continues to call on the Fed to cut interest rates.

Between the lines: In a change to its policy statement, the Fed acknowledged inflation was "running below" its 2% target. However, speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Fed chair Jerome Powell said "transitory" factors were to blame for muted inflation — disappointing investors who were betting low inflation would push the Fed to cut rates this year.

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The oil stakes of Trump vs. Biden

Reproduced from Rapidan Energy Group; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. oil production is in a steep decline, but one question is how much November's elections will affect how much it does — or doesn't — bounce back.

Why it matters: The powerful price and demand headwinds from the coronavirus pandemic are creating a financial crisis in the oil patch.

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From last night's episode:

A closer look at how colleges can reopen

The campus of Brown University. Photo: Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Masks in class, sports on hold, dorm life without roommates and summer 2021 classes for some: Brown University President Christina Paxson tells "Axios on HBO" it's all in play as colleges consider whether and how to safely reopen campuses in the fall.

Why it matters: An extended shutdown of U.S. colleges and universities would leave nearly 20 million students and 3 million employees with an uncertain future, but premature reopenings without proper coronavirus safeguards could jeopardize lives and force more closings.