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  • 1440 Daily Digest

Rates Hold Steady

The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged yesterday after a Commerce Department report last week showed consumer prices rose 2.7% year-over-year in March, above the central bank's 2% target.

Yesterday's announcement marks the sixth straight meeting in which Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell kept the benchmark federal funds rate steady at 5.25%-5.5%, a 23-year high. The news comes after Powell weeks ago indicated multiple rate cuts could come this year. He has since backtracked as key inflation data show persistent price increases, particularly in the service industry, including restaurants and auto repair services. Powell said yesterday the board is unlikely to hike interest rates at the next policy meeting. Analysts are now looking to September or November as the earliest point the Federal Reserve might lower rates. 

Separately, the Labor Department yesterday reported US job openings fell to their lowest in three years, dropping 325,000 to 8.5 million. 

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