The Federal Reserve has adopted a new theme for the new year: patience.
The New York Times reported that it is not expected to announce any change in its benchmark interest rate on Wednesday, after its first policymaking meeting of 2019. The Fed’s chairman, Jerome H. Powell, is expected to emphasize that the Fed will take time to evaluate economic conditions before considering any more rate increases.
The recently concluded five-week shutdown of the federal government fogged the Fed’s windshield, reducing the availability of up-to-date economic data. But Fed officials and many outside economists do not expect the shutdown to leave a significant lasting mark on the economy.
“We have the ability to be patient and watch patiently and carefully as we watch the economy evolve,” Mr. Powell said this month. The voices of other Fed officials in recent weeks have harmonized on the same theme with unusual fidelity, leaving little doubt of the Fed’s intentions.
The Fed has raised its benchmark interest rate in five consecutive quarters. The most recent increase, in December, moved the rate into a range between 2.25% and 2.5%.
For the full story click https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/30/us/politics/fed-interest-rate.html.