Martin Crutsinger

Fed chair nominee favors easing rules that hurt small banks

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jerome Powell, President Donald Trump’s pick to be chairman of the Federal Reserve, told senators at his confirmation hearing Nov. 28 that he believes some bank regulations can be rolled back — something the administration and Wall Street favor.

But he stressed that he will protect the central bank’s political independence, calling it vital for the Fed’s role.

Powell also strongly hinted in his appearance before the Senate Banking Committee that the Fed would hike rates again in December.

Fed perplexed by chronically low inflation

CLEVELAND (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen acknowledged Sept. 26 that the Fed is puzzled by the persistence of unusually low inflation and that it might have to adjust the timing of its interest rate policies accordingly.

Speaking to a conference of economists, Yellen touched upon key questions the Fed is confronting as it tries to determine why inflation has remained chronically below its target of 2 percent annually.

Fed official: Bond portfolio could shrink soon

NEW YORK (AP) — A top Federal Reserve official suggested Aug. 14 that the Fed will likely announce next month that it will begin paring its bond portfolio — a step that could lead to slightly higher rates on mortgages and other loans.

Rates unchanged, but signals hikes ahead

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve has left interest rates unchanged while signaling that it expects a resilient U.S. economy and solid job market to justify further rate hikes later this year.

A statement the Fed issued May 3 after its latest policy meeting noted that the economy slowed sharply during the January-March quarter but that it expects that slump to be “transitory.”

Fed keeps key rate unchanged but hints of hike

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve is keeping its key interest rate unchanged but signaling that it will likely raise rates before year's end.

The Fed said in a statement ending its latest policy meeting Sept. 21 that the U.S. job market has continued to strengthen and economic activity has picked up. But it noted that business investment remains soft and inflation too low and that it wants to see further improvement in the job market.

Federal Reserve keeps rates steady but sees less risk to US economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged July 27 but sounded a positive note: Near-term risks to the economy, the Fed said, have diminished.

It noted that the U.S. job market has rebounded, with robust hiring in June after a deep slump in May. At the same time, the Fed said in a statement after its latest policy meeting that it plans to closely monitor global economic threats and financial developments to ensure that they don’t slow the economy.

Fed keeps key rate unchanged; no hint on timing of next hike

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve kept a key interest rate unchanged Wednesday against the backdrop of a slowdown in U.S. and global growth and provided no hint of when its next rate hike may occur.

In a statement after its latest policy meeting, the Fed noted that the United States is enjoying solid job gains but also that "economic activity appears to have slowed."

As oil falls, US consumer prices down 0.1 percent in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer prices fell in December and rose by the smallest amount in seven years in 2015, reflecting the toll of slumping energy costs.

Consumer prices slipped 0.1 percent last month after a flat reading in November, the Labor Department reported Jan. 20.

For the entire year, overall inflation was up just 0.7 percent, even smaller than a 0.8 percent rise in 2014. Both years were heavily influenced by plunging energy prices. It was the weakest annual increase since a 0.1 percent rise in 2008.

Fed raises its key interest rate from record low near zero

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve is raising interest rates from record lows set at the depths of the 2008 financial crisis, a shift that heralds modestly higher rates on some loans.

The Fed coupled its first rate hike in nine years with a signal that further increases will likely be made slowly as the economy strengthens further and inflation rises from undesirably low levels.

Wednesday's action signaled the central bank's belief that the economy has finally regained enough strength 6½ years after the Great Recession ended to withstand modestly higher borrowing rates.

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