Fed Still Debating Timing on Rate Cuts

New York, NY, February 1, 2024-"The Federal Reserve signaled it was thinking about when to lower interest rates but hinted a cut wasn’t imminent when it held rates steady at its first policy meeting of the year on Wednesday,” reports the Wall Street Journal.

“The central bank held its benchmark federal-funds rate steady in a range between 5.25% and 5.5%, the highest level in more than two decades, as it awaits more convincing evidence that a sharp downturn in inflation at the end of last year will endure. 

“‘It’s a highly consequential decision to start the process’ of lowering interest rates ‘and we want to get that right,’ said Fed Chair Jerome Powell at a news conference. ‘We’ve made a lot of progress on inflation. We just want to make sure that we do get the job done in a sustainable way.’

“‘I don’t think it’s likely that the committee will reach a level of confidence by the time of the March meeting’ to justify a rate cut, ‘but that’s to be seen,’ he said.”