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The Federal Reserve is now in a more balanced stance toward the future of interest rates, indicating it isn’t in favor of raising rates for the first time in decades as early as September, when the Fed will begin to raise rates for the first time in 16 years.
The U.S. dollar slid on the news at 1.2046.41 pct. — the lowest level since Dec. 4, 2007 — in the aftermath of the Fed’s announcement. Meanwhile, the dollar is nearing the record high established at 111.00 in April 1985.
In addition, the U.S. bond market fell sharply after the Fed’s statement, with bond yields tumbling to record lows and banks pulling out as much as $15 billion on the expectation of no interest rate hikes until late in the year. “This statement by the Federal Reserve is a milestone in economic recovery,” said David Beim, chief economist at Bank of the West and chief economist for the Chicago-based Mercatus Center.
The Fed’s statement, made on Friday, was seen as a break from the past when it typically raised rates at the beginning of each month.
In the past, the Fed has raised rates several times on Wednesday, but those steps — typically by a month or so — never became a pattern.
Fed officials last raised rates in March of 2015, and rates were also raised in 2015 and this year, but only after the economic outlook strengthened and the Federal Reserve was more confident about how high rates should be.
A central bank is able to raise rates if it believes inflation would rise if it did so. Because inflation is typically measured by the consumer price index, an index that reflects inflation in goods and services, it would be hard to conclude that the economy would be stronger with lower prices than it is now if the Fed does not raise rates.
That may explain why the Fed has signaled few changes in its guidance about when it will raise rates. That has held back the markets’ reaction to the report, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 all closing the day up 1.6 points, or 1.6 percentage point, or 0.9 percent, to their pre-Fed-rate