Brokers – and the industry – will have to wait a little long for the expected rate hike.
“To support continued progress toward maximum employment and price stability, the Committee today reaffirmed its view that the current 0 to 1/4% target range for the federal funds rate remains appropriate,” the Fed said in a release Wednesday afternoon.
“In determining whether it will be appropriate to raise the target range at its next meeting, the Committee will assess progress--both realized and expected--toward its objectives of maximum employment and 2% inflation.”
According to the Fed, economic activity has been expanding at a moderate pace and household spending and business fixed investment have been increasing at “solid rates.” Further, unemployment remained steady.
However, the pace of job gains has slowed since the last meeting in September.
“Inflation has continued to run below the Committee's longer-run objective, partly reflecting declines in energy prices and in prices of non-energy imports,” the Fed said. “Market-based measures of inflation compensation moved slightly lower; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable.”
The Federal Reserve said its current policy will continue to help the economy improve.
“The Committee is maintaining its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities and of rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction,” the Fed said. “This policy, by keeping the Committee's holdings of longer-term securities at sizable levels, should help maintain accommodative financial conditions.”
However, the Fed also said it may maintain a lower rate than previously expected.
“When the Committee decides to begin to remove policy accommodation, it will take a balanced approach consistent with its longer-run goals of maximum employment and inflation of 2 percent,” the Fed said. “The Committee currently anticipates that, even after employment and inflation are near mandate-consistent levels, economic conditions may, for some time, warrant keeping the target federal funds rate below levels the Committee views as normal in the longer run.”