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Fed Holds Rates Steady as Inflation Remains Elevated

Source: Federal Reserve

Washington DC - The Federal Reserve maintained its target range for the federal funds rate at 5.25% to 5.5% as the FOMC remains cautious about persistent inflation despite solid economic growth.

According to the Fed's latest Summary of Economic Projections, the median forecast for GDP growth in 2024 is 2.1%, up from 1.4% in the December projections. 

The unemployment rate is projected to drop slightly to 4% by year-end. 

As measured by the PCE price index, inflation is expected to moderate to 2.4% this year but remain above the Fed's 2% target.

In its statement, the Federal Open Market Committee signaled it does not anticipate cutting rates until sustained evidence shows that inflation is moving back towards 2%. 

The FOMC also reiterated its commitment to reducing its Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities holdings.

The Fed's "dot plot" of individual policymaker projections shows rates peaking at a median of 5.1% this year before gradually declining to 3.1% by the end of 2026. 

However, the projections also reveal a wide range of views, with some officials seeing rates as high as 5.6% necessary to tame inflation.

The Fed said the economy is growing solidly, and job gains are robust but noted uncertainty in the outlook and ongoing inflation risks. 

Officials pledged to assess incoming data and "adjust the stance of monetary policy as appropriate" to achieve their objectives of 2% inflation and maximum employment.