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Fed heads for the exits despite Omicron. Who will follow?

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By Howard Schneider and William Schomberg (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Reserve didn’t beat around the bush on Wednesday when it signaled that raging inflation is its biggest risk and not the potential economic damage from the fast-spreading Omicron variant. The Fed doubled the pace at which it will reduce its bond purchases, while new forecasts from policymakers signaled as many as three interest rate increases next year. Chair Jerome Powell then waxed enthusiastically about the strength of the U.S. job market. “The economy no longer needs increasing amounts of policy support,” Powell told a n…

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