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US Federal Reserve Holds Interest Rates at 5.25% to 5.50%

June 12, 2024June 13th, 2024No Comments

June 12, 2024, 2:00 PM ET -The Federal Reserve opted to leave interest rates unchanged in its latest June meeting, signaling a single rate cut in 2024, with additional reductions anticipated in 2025. This decision reflects a measured approach as the central bank continues to battle persistent inflation while keeping an eye on economic stability.

Interest Rate Stability and Future Cuts

After a period of rapid rate increases from early 2022 to mid-2023, which brought rates to a 23-year high of 5.3%, the Fed has held them steady, aiming to temper consumer and business demand to curb rapid price hikes. The central bank now predicts just one rate cut in 2024, reducing the rate to 5.1%, a shift from its earlier projection of three cuts within the same year.

Inflation Trends and Economic Forecasts

Recent inflation data showed a cooler-than-expected rise in May, suggesting that the earlier stubborn inflation at the beginning of 2024 was a temporary hurdle rather than a trend shift. Despite this, Fed officials remain cautious, with Chair Jerome H. Powell highlighting the need for “greater confidence” that inflation is sustainably moving towards the 2% target before any rate cuts are initiated.

Economic Indicators and Policy Adjustments

The Fed’s latest forecasts paint a picture of cautious optimism. Officials predict slightly higher inflation and unemployment rates for 2024 than previously anticipated. They also forecast four rate cuts in 2025, an increase from the three projected earlier, suggesting a faster pace of rate reductions once they commence. Additionally, the forecast for the long-run neutral interest rate was raised from 2.6% to 2.8%, indicating a less aggressive impact on economic growth from the current policy stance.

Market Reactions and Expectations

Market analysts and investors have adjusted their expectations, with many now anticipating the first rate cut potentially in September, contingent on further decreases in inflation. The economy’s robust performance, particularly in the job market, provides the Fed with the leeway to maintain higher rates longer as it waits for clearer signs of inflation easing.

Powell’s Cautious Approach

In his post-meeting news conference, Powell emphasized the delicate balance the Fed must maintain. He noted that moving policy “too soon or too much” could reverse progress on inflation, while acting “too late or too little” might unduly weaken economic activity. The Fed’s current posture reflects a wait-and-see approach, heavily reliant on upcoming economic data.


The Federal Reserve’s decision to hold interest rates steady while signaling fewer rate cuts than previously expected underscores a cautious yet strategic approach to managing inflation and supporting economic stability. As the Fed continues to monitor inflation trends and economic indicators, it remains committed to achieving its long-term goals of maximum employment and stable prices.

With the Fed’s path now clearer, market attention shifts to the Bank of England’s upcoming meeting on June 20th, where further insights into global monetary policy trends and economic responses to inflation will be closely watched.

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