The U.S. Federal Reserve announced today that it will not be raising interest rates following this month’s meeting.
Markets were choppy following the Fed interest rate decision. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 56 points following the news, but quickly swung 100 points in the other direction. By 2:30 p.m. when Janet Yellen began her press conference, the Dow was back up five points.
Now, here are the five biggest things investors need to know following today’s Fed interest rate decision…
Today’s Fed Interest Rate Announcement: Why the Fed Didn’t Raise Rates
Fed officials ruled 9-1 not to raise interest rates today. One of the biggest reasons the Fed decided not to raise rates was extreme volatility in global markets.
According to officials, the global volatility could put downward pressure on inflation, which was one of the key reasons for holding off on a rate hike.
Chairwoman Janet Yellen showed concern that the turbulence in global markets could affect the U.S. economy. She said Fed officials would need “a little bit more time” to see if the U.S. economy has been impacted significantly.
Today’s Fed Interest Rate Announcement: When the Fed Will Hike Rates
The Federal Reserve will meet again on Oct. 27 and Oct. 28, so we’ll be revisiting the Fed interest rate decision in a little over a month.
While the interest rate decision was overwhelmingly against a rate hike this month, 13 of the 17 Fed officials said they expect a raise by the end of 2015. After the October meeting, the Fed will once again meet in December.
So we could still see an interest rate hike this year after one of those two meetings. They also said they expect interest rates to reach 2.625% by the end of 2017.
Continue reading for three more must-know details from today’s Fed interest rate decision…
Today’s Fed Interest Rate Announcement: Unemployment Numbers
Fed officials announced some encouraging economic figures that could lead to a rate hike in the coming months.
First, U.S. unemployment was 5.1% in August. They believe that number will keep improving and should stop falling once it hits 4.8%.
“The labor market continues to improve, with solid job gains and declining unemployment,” the statement said.
They did note that the number of Americans without jobs is still higher than it was before the financial crisis of 2008. Officials indicated that many Americans may have permanently left the workforce.
Today’s Fed Interest Rate Announcement: Inflation in Focus
Another reason the Fed decided not to raise rates today was low inflation. Yellen has continually said the Fed would like inflation close to 2%.
According to the U.S. Labor Department, the Consumer Price Index actually slipped 0.1% in August.
Despite falling inflation numbers, the Federal Reserve believes we will see gradual increases from here. Officials expect inflation to grow 0.4% in 2015. While that’s still below the target 2%, it does show improvement.
Today’s Fed Interest Rate Announcement: How Have Stocks Reacted
Expectedly, U.S. markets were very volatile following the announcement.
Before the 2:00 p.m. Fed interest rate announcement, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was trading up roughly 50 points. After the statement was released, the Dow shed 100 points, leaving it in the red 50 points for the day.
It continued to bounce around for the rest of the session before closing down 65 points.
The Nasdaq Composite finished the day down 0.26%, while the S&P 500 closed up 0.1%.
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