The Federal Reserve on Wednesday lifted a key U.S. interest rate, but it stuck to a script for three rate hikes in 2018 even as it gave a more upbeat forecast for the economy.
In the first meeting of Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, the central bank avoided sending any overtly hawkish signal about its interest-rate policy.
The Fed stuck to its December forecast of three interest-rate hikes this year, but central bankers did push up their expected rate path in 2019 and 2020, however.
“This confirms our core view on Fed policy: rate hikes will remain gradual in 2018, but significant fiscal stimulus implies a hike cycle that is more likely to continue through 2019,” said Andrew Hollenhorst of Citi in a note to clients.
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