Fed Holds Key Rate at 22-Year High

Central bank says households, businesses are facing tighter credit conditions
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 1, 2023 1:19 PM CDT
Fed Holds Key Rate at 22-Year High
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks at a meeting of the Economic Club of New York, Oct. 19, 2023, in New York.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, file)

The Federal Reserve held its key interest rate steady at a 22-year high on Wednesday—but the central bank left open the possibility of another rise in the months ahead. The Wall Street Journal reports that while inflation has slowed, officials could raise rates in December or January if it picks up again. The widely expected move Wednesday left the key rate in a target range between 5.25%-5.5%, where it has been since July, CNBC reports. In a statement after their meeting, Fed officials said "economic activity expanded at a strong pace in the third quarter," and employment gains "have moderated since earlier in the year but remain strong."

The economic picture is complicated, with the economy "stronger than just about anyone expected" more than two years into the Fed's program of inflation-taming rate hikes, but with the potential for long-term interest rates rises to cool the economy further, the New York Times notes. Officials noted the long-term interest rates in their statement Wednesday, saying, "Tighter financial and credit conditions for households and businesses are likely to weigh on economic activity." (More Federal Reserve stories.)

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