Fed officials: Current monetary policy is appropriate

FILE – This Feb. 5, 2018, file photo shows the seal of the Board of Governors of the United States Federal Reserve System at the Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve Board Building in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

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UPDATED 2:20 PM PT — Friday, February 21, 2020

The Federal Reserve is expected to hold interest rates steady throughout 2020 as the U.S. economy continues to expand.

The presidents of the Atlanta Fed and St. Louis Fed have spoken out about their hopes for the future. Both officials have said they see the current growth pattern continuing throughout this year and feel that monetary policy is in a good place to sustain the current expansion.

“We’re going to be at 2-2.25 percent, employment is going to continue to be strong, (and) inflation is not going to be a significant problem,” stated Raphael Bostic. “As long as that’s going on, the economy can just roll along as it has been.”

Wall Street has taken a hit amid growing fears of the deadly coronavirus, but both officials believe the economic impact of the outbreak will only be a temporary shock to the U.S.

“There’s a high probability that the coronavirus will blow over as other viruses have, be a temporary shock and everything will come back,” stated James Bullard. “There’s a low probability that this could get much worse (and) markets have to price that in, (which) drags the center of gravity down a little bit.”

The Federal Reserve cut interest rates three times in 2019 and has held steady at a range of 1.5 to 1.75 percent in its last two meetings. The bank is forecasting no rate changes through at least the end of the year.

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