That new rate brings joblessness close to what the Fed considers full employment. That’s not much comfort for tens of millions of workers still looking for higher wages and full-time positions.
“We are following developments in the Chinese economy and their actual and potential effects on other economies even more closely than usual.”
This means the central bank’s policy makers will raise short-term rates for the first time in nearly a decade, and the first time above “near zero” since the financial crisis of 2008.
Borrowers have enjoyed average fixed rates below 4 percent all year, but that could end in coming months.
Consumers, this means no big changes to interest rates on home, car and personal loans for the near future, other than typical short-term market factors.
The prevailing sentiment is that the Federal Reserve could start raising its benchmark borrowing cost by summer, but rates are still in historically low territory with the 30-year fixed mortgage slipping this week to 3.78 percent.
As the clock ticks closer toward a much-anticipated interest rate increase by Federal Reserve policymakers this year, any shift in wording in a statement from the Fed becomes hyper-scrutinized.
“The Fed should hold off until wages are growing in tandem with inflation and productivity,” states the New York Times’ editorial board.
As 10-year Treasury yields closed at their lowest level since May 2013, mortgage rates this week fell to their lowest mark of 2014, with the 30-year fixed at 3.80 percent, Freddie Mac said today.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen told reporters that despite the sharp decline in gas prices, inflation would eventually turn higher and approach the central bank’s 2 percent target.