Trump's Fed chair admits trade policy concerns

NAIRU Fed projections Federal Reserve March 2013

The FOMC forecast that it will raise the benchmark interest rate three times in 2019, up from two, as previously estimated.

"In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the [Federal Open Market] Committee chose to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 percent", according to a Fed statement.

In its statement, the Fed said the labor market "has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising at a moderate rate". Powell said Fed policymakers don't think changes in trade policy will affect their current economic outlook.

Following a whipsaw session, the S&P 500 closed lower as the central bank raised rates and signaled it will do so two more times this year as the economy continues to pick up speed.

Trump's Mexican border wall is as counterfeit as he is
Osornio and other Dreamers at SIU say they are anxious about their futures following a weekend of tweets from President Trump . Trump doesn't, unless he was lying once more to create confusion and justify his callous abandonment of DACA beneficiaries.

A Republican and former hedge fund executive, Powell is not new to the Fed, having served on the board of governors after being nominated by President Barack Obama in 2012.

Whether they expect three or four rate hikes this year, investment strategists agree that the US central bank is in the process of normalizing policy, raising rates as the economy strengthens, which, according to McMillan, "has been the goal for years".

In addition, job gains will drive the unemployment rate down to 3.6 percent next year, below the previous 3.9 percent estimate, and stay there in 2020.

In December, the Fed predicted U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) to grow 2.5 percent this year, 2.1 percent in 2019 and two percent in 2020.

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The names of the presumed dead are being withheld pending positive identification and notification of their families. Naval Forces Central Command based in Bahrain, the pilot ejected shortly after takeoff and was in stable condition.

With the Reserve Bank of NZ sitting on rates, the Fed's key rate is now higher than Australia's 1.50% cash rate and matches the NZ official cash rate of 1.75%.

While recent home sales and retail spending data have been on the weak side, the overall economic picture has brightened after growth accelerated to 2.3 per cent a year ago.

Finally, the Fed's inflation expectations were little changed. Officials announced that this year's forecast remains at 1.9 percent for both core and headline inflation, while 2019 is predicted bring an increase to 2.1 percent for core personal consumption expenditures. However, the dot-plot did not consist of an upgrade to the amount of rate hikes in 2018. Afterward, expectations for a fourth hike, which had been growing in part because of more hawkish comments from new Chairman Jerome Powell, got an additional lift.

The move was the latest step away from years of stimulating the world's largest economy in the wake of the 2007-2009 financial crisis and recession.

China blasts USA tariffs
The question now is if Trump will move ahead with the tariffs as announced or change course, potentially going to the table. Though the tariffs are not in place yet, the news had an immediate impact on markets, including the soybean market.

"If the economy evolves roughly as I suspect, I will likely support further increases over the course of the year", Mr. Bostic said in the text of a speech to be presented before an event in Knoxville, Tenn. The jobless rate is expected to trough at just 3.6 percent next year, as compared with the earlier 3.9 percent.

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