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Financial News: Fed Stands Pat On Interest Rates, December Hike

Fed Stands Pat On Interest Rates, December Hike On Tap

11/01/2017 - 14:13:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The Federal Reserve is still likely to raise interest rates in December thanks to a "solid" U.S. economy, according to the central bank's latest monetary policy announcement.

As expected, the Fed maintained its key interest rate at 1%-1.25%, a nod to "soft" inflation.

"Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in September indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising at a solid rate despite hurricane-related disruptions," the Fed said.

The Fed noted that gasoline prices rose in the aftermath of the hurricanes, boosting overall inflation in September; however, inflation for items other than food and energy remained "soft."

Policy makers expect that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant gradual increases in the federal funds rate. The Fed made no change to its earlier projection of three rate hikes in 2017, meaning a December rate hike is a shoo-in as long as the economy cooperates.

The December rate decision may be the final one influenced by Fed Chair Janet Yellen. Reports say President Donald Trump will announce current Fed Governor Jerome Powell will replace Yellen in January.

In economic news today, ADP said U.S. private sector payrolls rose 235,000 in October. This is sharply higher than the 110,000 gain in September.

The ADP report is considered a key prelude to Thursday's crucial U.S. jobs data from the Commerce Department.

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