Leah Millis | Reuters
A pedestrian walks past the Federal Reserve building on Constitution Avenue in Washington, March 19, 2019.
The Federal Reserve said Wednesday it expects the benchmark rate to stay near 2.4 percent by the end of 2019, slashing its forecast from 2 hikes for the year to zero.
The Fed said its benchmark rate will approach 2.6 percent in 2020 and remain at that level through 2021. In the longer run, the central bank expects rates to rise to 2.8 percent.
Chairman Jerome Powell and the Fed have softened their approach toward interest rates after spooking markets late last year. In January, Powell said the case for raising interest rates had weakened and the committee vowed to take a more “patient” approach toward hiking rates.
The committee reiterated its “patient” approach on Wednesday.
Every quarter, Fed policymakers submit their projections for where they expect short-term interest rates to go. These submissions are visualized in a so-called dot plot, which shows how many members think rates will hit a given level over the short, medium and longer run.