Fed Chair: US internet ratees near neutral

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Added On November 30, 2018

U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has said that the central bank's benchmark interest rate is near a neutral level, a modification of what he said two months ago on the same issue. 
 
Powell said that interest rates are still low by historical standards, and they remain just below the broad range of estimated neutral level for the economy.
 
Early in October, he said there was still long way to go before benchmark interest rate hits neutral. His remarks then led to an equity market sell-off as investors feared a fast hike interest rates would slow down the economy.
 
Having already risen three times this year, the fed funds rate now stands at the target range of 2 percent to 2.25 percent. 
 
Powell pointed out that Fed's gradual pace of raising interest rates has been an exercise in balancing risks. 
 
He added that the economic effects of gradual rate increases are uncertain, and may "take a year or more to be fully realized."
 
Talking about the economic outlook, Powell said the Federal Open Market Committee is forecasting continued solid growth, low unemployment, and inflation near 2 percent.