Fed expected to hike United States interest rates in December as economy strengthens

Fed expected to hike United States interest rates in December as economy strengthens

"The Committee expects that further gradual increases in the target range for the federal funds rate will be consistent with sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation near the Committee's symmetric 2 percent objective over the medium term".

Fed chairman Jerome Powell and his colleagues are expected to hike rates for the fourth time this year to a range of 2.5% to 2.75%.

The statement overall reflected little change in the Fed's outlook for the economy since its last policy meeting in September.

The federal open market committee, the central bank's rate-setting body, gave an upbeat assessment of the USA economy as it voted unanimously to hold the federal funds rate at a range of 2 per cent to 2.25 per cent.

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The statement reflected little change in the US central bank's outlook for the economy since the last policy meeting in September, with inflation remaining near its 2 percent target, unemployment falling and risks to the economic outlook appearing to be "roughly balanced".

Fed officials also upgraded their assessment of the economy, forecasting growth of 3.1 percent for the year.

Yet December still seems firmly in play. "There were a couple words that were more muted - that business investment had "moderated" from its earlier pace". Unemployment is at 3.7%, the lowest in 48 years, and wages are rising.

The Fed's policy decision was unanimous.

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