Bloomberg: “Dire Straits” in the US, Canada and Europe as the Federal Reserve raises its benchmark interest rate.
Bloomberg: The Federal Reserve’s decision to keep rates on hold for two months and to keep the overnight interest rate unchanged at a record low was “a major setback for the recovery,” said Paul Ashworth, chief economist at Barclays Plc.
He expects the U.S. and European economies to continue to contract this year.
In the United States, which is among the world’s top exporters, the U-3 unemployment rate fell to 4.9% last month, the lowest since October 2012.
The U.K.’s inflation rate rose to 0.6% in January from 0.3% a year earlier.
Britain is one of the world ‘s fastest-growing economies’ and has been among the strongest economic performers in Europe.
The country is bracing for the next round of economic cuts that the European Central Bank announced this week.
The ECB is likely to extend its bond-buying program through March, which would cut the size of its bond holdings by about 10% and allow it to buy more assets, such as bonds, from central banks around the world.
In Europe, the unemployment rate edged up to 5.7% in December, according to the ONS data.
The United Kingdom’s inflation rate climbed to 0% in November.
Britain has been the eurozone’s top consumer exporter.
The Bank of England said in a statement that it expects the inflation rate to rise “well below” 2% for the year.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the unemployment figure to rise to 5% in the first quarter.
The Fed’s move will affect the outlook for U.W. inflation, which fell to 0%.
“It is the first time since early December that we have seen inflation fall below its 2% target,” said Brian Fung, chief economic strategist at Bank of America Corp. in New York.
The rise in the U:3 unemployment level could signal an easing of inflation expectations for U:1 inflation, he added.
In a statement, Fed President Jerome Powell said that the Fed has made “a substantial adjustment” to the policy framework that it adopted in March.
He said the central bank is adjusting its monetary policy to better align with its target of the unemployment rates to remain below 2%.
“This will allow the economy to respond to policy, while preserving and strengthening the job market,” Powell said in the statement.
The Federal Funds rate, which the Fed buys and sells every month, will remain at 0.25%.
The U:2 rate, the Fed’s benchmark interest-rate, will stay at 1.75%.
The Fed has been holding its benchmark rate unchanged since March 2009.
The central bank raised its benchmark overnight rate by 0.75 percentage points on Jan. 25.
It was the first increase since December 2011, the year before the financial crisis, and the first since May 2008.
It has been on a gradual rise.
The overnight U:5 rate has remained at 0% since May 2009.
“We are confident that we will be able to keep inflation near the target rate,” Powell wrote in his statement.
In January, the central banks rate-setting committee voted to increase the U$ rate to 0%, the first rise since August 2008.
The increase is the biggest since May 2007.
The rate rise comes as the Fed continues to seek to contain inflation.
The committee is weighing how much to do about a possible rebound in the housing market, a key driver of the economy, and other signs that the economy is strengthening.
In February, the Federal Open Market Committee, the government’s key market watchdog, decided to hold off on a rate hike until late in the year, to allow the Fed to better assess the health of the labor market.
The panel has also been delaying decisions on the future of the U, the S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq composite.
The bank’s rate-hiking move also comes as its asset-purchase program, which seeks to boost spending by the Fed, has been hurt by an economy that has been shrinking and the price of oil, a major source of inflation.
U. S. Treasurys, the benchmark government-backed asset, fell on Tuesday after the Fed said it will buy $1.3 trillion in Treasury bonds to help offset any losses in mortgage-backed securities.
The bond purchases come as the central bankers interest rate is forecast to stay below zero until late next year, the first major rate hike since 2008.
In Canada, the countrys economy grew at a 1.5% annual rate in the second quarter, the weakest performance since early 2014.
The Canadian economy is the fastest-performing in the world and is expected to expand at an annual rate of 1.4% in 2018.
The economy expanded at an 0.5%-0.7 % annual rate last year, its