The US Federal reserve (fed), as most observers expected, raised the benchmark interest rate to 2.25-2.5 percent per annum.
Thus, in 2018, the fed raised the benchmark interest rate four times-in March, June, September and December. The Federal reserve began the General cycle of monetary policy tightening in 2015 after a seven-year break, during which time the rate increased eight times and always in increments of 0.25 percentage points.
The fed has again kept in the release at the rate the assessment of the labor market, which remains “strong”, as well as the state of economic activity, growing “high rates”. The estimate of employment growth has changed from” significant to “average high”. The growth of household spending continued, and the growth of investment in fixed assets slowed down, again stated the fed. Inflation rates on a 12-month basis remain at about two percent, long-term inflation expectations have changed little overall, the release said.
At the same time, the fed pointed out that the risks to the economy remain balanced, but the regulator will continue to monitor changes in the global economy and Finance, assessing their consequences for the US economy.
From the updated point charts of the fed follows that now the regulator intends to hold in 2019 not three, as planned in September, but two rate hikes. Thus, the fed has slightly eased its monetary policy. At the end of November, the signal about this possibility was given by the fed head Jerome Powell – he said that the rate hike may slow down, and even noted that the rates are “slightly below the neutral” level.