Federal Reserve “kowtows to Trump” and predicts no rate hikes in 2019 – business live


US central bank leaves borrowing costs on hold, cuts growth forecasts, and says rates probably won’t rise this year


Q: You’ve gone from predicting two rate hikes this year to none, so is a rate cut possible?

Powell reiterates that the Fed will be patient before doing anything.

Powell: The data are not sending a signal that we should move in either direction on rates now (that is neither a rate hike nor rate cut)

Q: Why are your growth forecasts so much gloomier than the White House’s ones?

Powell ducks a direct comparison, speaking instead about the need to raise labour force participation across America and boost productivity too.

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