Fed to raise rates as Trump economy looms

Washington – There is little room for doubt that the US Federal Reserve will raise the benchmark interest rate in the coming week for only the second time in a decade.

With unemployment at a nine-year low, jobs being created at an average of 180,000 per month, the economy growing at better than three percent in the most recent quarter and some signs of a pickup in inflation, the writing is on the wall.

Some members of the Federal Open Market Committee, which sets the key federal funds rate, the basis for mortgage and lending rates, have even cautioned that failing to raise rates in December could harm the central bank’s credibility, given expectations set by policymakers in recent months.

“All the necessary and sufficient conditions are there,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, told AFP.

With a rate hike assumed, the question remains whether Wednesday’s move will be the first in a series.