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Wednesday, 19 December 2018 13:00

Fed expected to raise rates

Fed expected to raise rates

The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates on Wednesday, but may cut the number of hikes it anticipates next year and signal an earlier end to its monetary tightening in the face of financial market volatility and rising recession fears, Caspian Energy News (www.caspianenergy.net) reports with reference to Reuters.

The central bank is due to announce its decision at 2 p.m. EST (1900 GMT) after its final two-day policy meeting of the year. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to hold a press conference half an hour later.

Investors widely expect the Fed will lift borrowing costs by a quarter of a percentage point to a range of between 2.25 percent and 2.50 percent. It would be the fourth rate hike of the year and the ninth since the central bank began its current tightening cycle in December 2015.

A rate hike on Wednesday could draw the ire of the White House. President Donald Trump has repeatedly attacked the Fed for raising rates this year, saying it was undercutting his efforts to boost the economy. On Tuesday, Trump warned Fed policymakers not to “make yet another mistake.”

The Fed’s tightening is designed to reduce the monetary policy boost to a U.S. economy that is now growing much faster than central bank policymakers think it can sustain.

With the price of oil tumbling, economic growth in Europe and China slipping, and the fiscal stimulus from the Trump administration’s $1.5 trillion tax cut package expected to fade, Fed policymakers appear ready to back away from their prior view that the economy could weather three more rate hikes next year.

Fresh Fed economic forecasts to be released along with the policy statement may suggest that two rate hikes is more likely, economists say. Traders of interest rate futures do not even think the Fed will manage one hike.

More details: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-fed/fed-expected-to-raise-rates-may-signal-fewer-hikes-ahead-idUSKBN1OI0DV

Person in charge of the newsline: Olga Nagiyeva 

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