Central banker

U.S. holds interest rates at 5.25% – 5.5%, but expect higher rates for longer

Fed holds steady

The Federal Reserve held interest rates steady in a decision released Wednesday 20th September 2023, while also indicating it still expects one more hike before the end of the year and fewer cuts than previously indicated next year.

That final increase, if realised, would be it for now according to data released at the end of the Fed two-day meeting. If the Fed goes ahead with the move, it would be the twelfth rate hike since policy tightening began in March 2022.

No change priced in

Markets had fully priced in no move at this meeting, which kept the fed funds rate targeted in a range between 5.25%-5.5%, the highest in some 22 years. The rate fixes what banks charge each other for overnight lending but also affects many other forms of consumer debt too.

While the no-hike was expected, there was plenty of uncertainty over where the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), would go from here.

Judging from reports released Wednesday 20th September 2023, the bias appears towards more restrictive policy and a higher-for-longer approach to interest rates.

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