The Federal Reserve met Tuesday and did what most expected… nothing. Concern over both inflation and economic growth were voiced. But in the end, the Fed left the benchmark federal funds rate at 2 %, where it’s been since April.
The vote was 10-1, with a dissent from Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher, who wanted to increase rates to combat inflation, as he did in the last Fed meeting.
Based on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) statement after the meeting, investors took measure and concluded the Fed would not raise rates in the near term either. That spurred U.S. stocks to end sharply higher Tuesday.
The inflation portion of the FOMC statement follows:
Inflation has been high, spurred by the earlier increases in the prices of energy and some other commodities, and some indicators of inflation expectations have been elevated. The Committee expects inflation to moderate later this year and next year, but the inflation outlook remains highly uncertain.
Although downside risks to growth remain, the upside risks to inflation are also of significant concern to the Committee. The Committee will continue to monitor economic and financial developments and will act as needed to promote sustainable economic growth and price stability.
Helping the Fed with inflation is the recent drop in commodities with notable attention on crude oil prices. Oil closed Tuesday to $119.17 a barrel in New York, which is well off its July 3 peak of $145.29.