Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell declared a prolonged pause in the American central bank’s efforts to move short term interest rates closer to the historical mean. He cited slowing global growth and geopolitical risks as justification. He made the comments at the Federal Open Market Committee’s press conference after the decision. The FOMC short term interest rate target is 2.5% currently.
“We don’t see data coming in that suggest that we should move in either direction. They suggest that we should remain patient and let the situation clarify itself over time…It may be some time before the outlook for jobs and inflation calls clearly for a change in policy.”
Regarding the Fed’s inflation target of 2% he stated, “I don’t feel that we have kind of convincingly achieved our 2 percent mandate in a symmetrical way…That gives us the ability to be patient, and not move until we see that our target goals are being achieved.”
Markets fluctuated on the news. The benchmark 10 year U.S. Treasury Note closed at a yield of 2.524%. The historical average is approximately 5%. The yield declined due to demand for safety as investors bought U.S. Treasury assets after the Fed’s comments.