US Fed holds rates in September

US Fed holds rates in SeptemberIt was the interest rate decision we were waiting for with baited breath, along with the financial markets.

Despite much speculation to the contrary, the US Federal Reserve decided to keep interest rates on hold at their September meeting.

It means the US interest rates have been at the same level since December 2008.

Of the ten person committee, only one member voted for a 0.25 percentage point rise.

Concerns about the strength of the global economy influenced their decision, according to a press statement released along with the decision.

Commenting on the news, Anna Stupnystska, Global Economist at Fidelity Worldwide Investment said:

“The Fed left rates on hold at the September FOMC meeting, in line with my expectations.

“While the FOMC signalled continued confidence in the state of the US economy, it was made clear that, together with the low level of inflation, external risks and financial market developments became decisive factors against the hike this time.

“The recent tightening in US financial conditions, driven by the strong US dollar and the August sell-off, if sustained, could indeed ultimately result in slower US growth.

“The state of the Chinese economy and vulnerabilities of other emerging markets add to the overall uncertainty at this point.

“In this environment it came as no big surprise that the Fed decided to remain in the ‘wait and see’ mode for now.

“I believe a December hike is still likely at this point, provided data holds up, inflation and inflation expectations show some tentative signs of a reversal and financial conditions ease somewhat.

“But risks are skewed towards the hiking timeline shifting into 2016 altogether.”

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