The Federal Reserve kept its finger on the pause button and opted against a new rate hike.
The central bank’s policymaking Federal Open Market Committee unanimously approved this decision. In a statement, the Committee said it would maintain the target range of the federal funds rate at 5.25% to 5.50%, adding that it would “continue to assess additional information and its implications for monetary policy.”
The Committee also pledge to “continue reducing its holdings of Treasury securities and agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities” while staying focused on its long-held goal of driving inflation down to 2%.
In announcing its decision, the Fed stated U.S. economic activity “expanded at a strong pace in the third quarter” but noted that inflation was still elevated and “tighter financial and credit conditions for households and businesses are likely to weigh on economic activity, hiring, and inflation – the extent of these effects remains uncertain.” The Fed did not cite the Israel-Hamas conflict and its potential impact on the U.S. economy – two days ago, the World Bank’s Commodity Markets Outlook warned that oil prices could veer into “uncharted waters” if the new violence Middle East conflict expands.