Fed signals three rate cuts are still likely this year, despite inflation uptick: 5 takeaways

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Federal Reserve officials maintained their outlook for three interest-rate cuts this year and moved toward slowing the pace of reducing their bond holdings, suggesting they aren’t alarmed by a recent uptick in inflation.

Officials decided unanimously to leave the benchmark federal funds rate in a range of 5.25% to 5.5%, the highest since 2001, for a fifth straight meeting. Policymakers signaled they remain on track to cut rates this year for the first time since March 2020, but they now see just three reductions in 2025, down from four forecast in December, based on the median projection.

Chair Jerome Powell, speaking to reporters after the Fed’s decision Wednesday, demurred when asked whether officials would lower rates at their coming meetings in May or June, repeating that the first reduction would likely be “at some point this year.”

He largely shrugged off recent data showing an uptick in inflation in recent months, saying, “It is still likely in most people’s view that we will achieve that confidence and there will be rate cuts.”

— Federal Reserve officials maintained their outlook for three interest-rate cuts this year and moved toward slowing the pace of reducing their bond holdings, suggesting they aren’t alarmed by a recent uptick in inflation.

— Officials decided unanimously to leave the benchmark federal funds rate in a range of 5.25% to 5.5%, the highest since 2001, for a fifth straight meeting.

–Policymakers signaled they remain on track to cut rates this year for the first time since March 2020, but they now see just three reductions in 2025, down from four forecast in December, based on the median projection.

— Chair Jerome Powell, speaking to reporters after the Fed’s decision Wednesday, demurred when asked whether officials would lower rates at their coming meetings in May or June, repeating that the first reduction would likely be “at some point this year.”

— He largely shrugged off recent data showing an uptick in inflation in recent months, saying, “It is still likely in most people’s view that we will achieve that confidence and there will be rate cuts.”



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