The Federal Reserve plans to hike interest rates even faster

Interest rates are on their way up.Buoyed by a strengthening economy and increased confidence that the Federal...

Posted: Apr 12, 2018 6:01 AM
Updated: Apr 12, 2018 6:01 AM

Interest rates are on their way up.

Buoyed by a strengthening economy and increased confidence that the Federal Reserve will reach its inflation target in the near future, central bank policymakers suggested the path of future of rate hikes could be "slightly steeper" over the next few years than previously thought, according to minutes of their March meeting released on Wednesday.

"Members agreed that the strengthening in the economic outlook in recent months increased the likelihood that a gradual upward trajectory of the federal funds rate would be appropriate," according to the minutes.

In March, the Fed lifted the federal funds rate to a range of 1.5% to 1.75%. That was an increase of a quarter of a percentage point. The Fed's target rate helps determine rates for mortgages, credit cards and other borrowing.

Related: Fed raises interest rates in Powell's debut

According to the minutes, there was some debate by policymakers on whether to delay raising rates to a later meeting to send a strong signal to investors that monetary policy decisions would be based on incoming economic data. But they ultimately agreed to press ahead.

It was the sixth increase since December 2015, when the Fed started tightening monetary policy for the first time after the financial crisis. Rates are still extremely low by historical standards.

Fed officials were split on whether this week's policy meeting was the appropriate time to announce a fourth rate hike in 2018. The Fed has signaled it would raise rates three times this year.

At the March meeting, the Fed hinted it would favor a more aggressive pace to keep the economy humming in the coming years. It shifted its plans to raise interest rates for next year, calling for three more rate hikes instead of two.

Nearly half of FOMC members said they believed that would be necessary to raise rates faster if the economy keeps performing as well as they expect.

Minutes of the March meeting, the first chaired by Jerome Powell, showed that some policymakers aired the possibility of revising the Federal Open Market Committee's statement "at some point" to acknowledge a shift from the central bank's policy from "accommodative" to "neutral or restraining."

Powell told reporters at his first press conference that economic forecasts can change, and the Fed could be "a little less gradual or a little more gradual" when it comes to future interest rate decisions.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 614946

Reported Deaths: 9807
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion849231342
Lake45784693
Allen33103560
Hamilton29752316
St. Joseph27572383
Elkhart24496346
Vanderburgh19679255
Tippecanoe18150144
Johnson15234296
Porter14970172
Hendricks14550253
Madison11071223
Clark10852145
Vigo10819185
Monroe9496115
Delaware9193136
LaPorte9173164
Howard8325148
Kosciusko811485
Warrick683399
Hancock6783106
Bartholomew6659100
Floyd6522113
Wayne6194164
Grant6050118
Dubois559081
Boone557968
Morgan551996
Henry512365
Marshall507884
Dearborn488745
Cass487864
Noble476159
Jackson428747
Shelby423381
Lawrence395180
Clinton375845
Gibson375560
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Montgomery349754
Knox337839
Miami325244
Steuben315846
Whitley313126
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Jefferson267738
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Greene242763
Posey241828
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Scott227939
Clay225032
Randolph215848
Jennings200937
Spencer193622
Sullivan193633
Washington189023
Fountain185227
Starke177044
Jay168723
Owen168338
Fulton165430
Orange161035
Carroll160616
Rush156418
Perry156129
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Franklin149933
Tipton134433
Parke13098
Pike118826
Blackford112023
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Brown88835
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Crawford8099
Martin75013
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Switzerland6695
Union6297
Ohio4967
Unassigned0375

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 872918

Reported Deaths: 10856
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin102616707
Cuyahoga868931154
Hamilton65148455
Montgomery43662420
Summit35411766
Lucas31794634
Butler31451232
Stark26247445
Warren19939144
Lorain19378229
Mahoning17561339
Lake16350161
Clermont16235113
Delaware1463881
Licking13453142
Fairfield1301782
Trumbull12980317
Greene12226144
Medina11798169
Clark11094266
Wood10507158
Allen10031128
Portage9514111
Richland9275134
Miami927273
Marion7512113
Tuscarawas7455186
Columbiana7433124
Pickaway735250
Muskingum714042
Wayne7140172
Erie6253130
Ross5589100
Hancock556292
Scioto545365
Geauga518955
Darke474395
Lawrence464658
Union459130
Ashtabula457973
Sandusky440462
Huron435541
Mercer435590
Seneca435366
Auglaize425166
Belmont423948
Jefferson423969
Shelby422923
Washington396340
Athens38619
Putnam379276
Madison359930
Knox358423
Ashland349638
Fulton341744
Defiance336188
Crawford327274
Preble323637
Brown318821
Logan314835
Ottawa297443
Clinton293944
Highland282219
Williams282267
Jackson266145
Guernsey259326
Champaign254628
Fayette241030
Morrow23594
Perry235518
Holmes227274
Henry222954
Hardin217033
Coshocton208023
Van Wert204445
Gallia200126
Wyandot198151
Pike180918
Adams179815
Hocking174024
Carroll158216
Paulding145521
Noble121040
Meigs110324
Monroe103433
Harrison89821
Morgan84531
Vinton71714
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