The dollar struggled against its peers on Thursday after the Federal Reserve maintained the view that it would raise interest rate three times in 2018 instead of the four that some currency bulls had hoped for.
"The economic outlook has strengthened in recent months", the committee said in its post-meeting statement, a sentence that had not been in previous releases.
JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: In his first news conference since taking the reins as Fed chief from Janet Yellen, Powell gave an upbeat assessment of the USA economy. But he said trade policy "has become a concern" for business leaders a round the country.
One clue can be found in a survey of FOMC members about what they expect the appropriate rate policy to be going forward.
Trump on March 8 announced steep tariffs on aluminum and steel, and is expected to take more tough action against Chinese goods this week, but Powell said officials did not specify whether rising trade frictions could impact growth or inflation.
"Today's decision to raise the federal funds rate is another step in the process of gradually scaling back monetary policy accommodation as the economic expansion continues", Powell said in his prepared comments before the press on Wednesday. Fed representatives now utter an upsurge from their former prediction done prior to the Republican tax cuts was concluded.
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This widely expected move - anticipated by NAFCU - lifts rates to a level last seen in 2008. The reason for this widely expected rate hike is historically low unemployment rate in the U.S. and the confidence in the growth of the USA economy, which is picking up strongly. They did upgrade the forecasts for 2019 and 2020 but the long-term rate saw only a minor move from 2.8% to 2.9%.
It is generally true that higher rates favor savers while lower rates favor borrowers - but the Fed does not directly control the rates consumers get on their bank accounts and mortgages.
However, this time, the tone of the commentary by the US Fed Chairman remained less hawkish and hence we do not see much volatility in the exchange rate of INR against Dollars.
This debt is based on the banks' prime loan rate, the interest rate used as a starting point for nonmortgage loans.
The rupee, which has strengthened a bit lately, came under pressure post the hike and is now hovering somewhere around 64.50 levels against the United States dollar, in the fourth quarter of this fiscal year. Unemployment was expected to dip to 3.9 percent this year and next before returning to 4 percent.
His lack of economic formalism came through again as he backed away from being specific about the changing relationship between labor market slack and inflation-a critical issue now for the pace of Fed tightening. However, it marginally downgraded its assessment of the rise in economic activity to "moderate rate" from "solid" in January. More aggressive rate increases would likely slow the economy and make stocks less appealing.