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As widely expected, the Federal Reserve increased key interest rates to a range between 2% and 2.25%. The narrative following the hike was widely followed, since most expected the Fed to increase rates for a third time this year. The Fed pointed to another hike in December, three rate increases next year, and one more in 2020. Fed officials forecast the rate will level off at 3.4% in 2020 and 2021. The Fed also removed the word “accommodative” from their statement, which should provide the Fed more policy flexibility next year, and signals that the Fed may be closer to its neutral rate. Fed Chairman Powell stated that the economy is strong and growing at a healthy pace, while increasing their forecasts for future U.S. economic growth. Equity markets gave back earlier gains following Powell’s press conference. Powell mentioned that he does not foresee inflation spiking, which sent bond yields lower, while bank stocks fell after the statement. Read more from Ryan Nauman's weekly recap and subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox each week!
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“For portfolio investors, [portfolio flows] data from… EPFR… have a powerful appeal. According to one strategist, 'it is almost a crutch – they want to know the data, just because this is their business.'” –Source: Flows have powerful appeal, even as picture of the past, Financial Times
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