Borrowing by small U.S. firms ticked up in November, data released on Thursday showed, as Americans unexpectedly elected Republican Donald Trump as their next president and investors bid up U.S. stocks on bets that tax cuts will boost profits.
San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams on Thursday joined a growing chorus of his colleagues signaling support for a U.S. interest rate hike in coming months, saying that waiting too long could be costly for the economy.
The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to keep interest rates unchanged this week, deferring any possible increase until September or December, as policymakers hold out for more evidence of a pickup in inflation.
The Federal Reserve won't raise interest rates this week, but will likely make clear that as long as U.S. inflation and jobs continue to strengthen, economic weakness overseas won't stop rates from rising fairly soon.
The Federal Reserve should stick with its plan to raise interest rates gradually, a top policymaker said on Thursday, given his view that unemployment is headed to 4.5% by late this year and inflation is set to reach 2% in two years.
The Federal Reserve's carefully scripted decision to raise interest rates last December, and begin a return to "normal" policy, may now become a nightmare for the U.S. central bank if an economic downturn forces a return to unconventional methods.