Thu Nov 8, 2018, 03:34 PM

Fed Holds Key Interest Rate Steady; Another Hike Next Month Appears Likely

NOV 08, 2018 | 11:05 AM

Federal Reserve officials held a key interest rate steady Thursday and appeared to stay on course for another hike next month despite criticism from President Trump and a new concern about business spending.

Analysts had expected the Fed to hold the target of its benchmark short-term rate at between 2% and 2.25% after concluding a two-day monetary policy meeting this week. The rate had been inched up 0.25 of a percentage point in September, the third such hike this year.

Fed officials voted 9-0 Thursday to keep the federal funds rate at its current level.

In a post-meeting statement, they said that U.S. economic activity "has been rising at a strong rate," the labor market continues to strengthen and household spending is growing strongly. But they added a new note of caution.

Fixed business investment "has moderated from its rapid pace earlier in the year," the statement said. In recent months, Fed statements have noted that spending was growing "strongly."


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