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Trump's economic moves likely won't be felt until 2018, Fed report says

By
Doug G. Ware
President Donald Trump speaks to reporters in the Rose Garden of the White House on Wednesday. The U.S. Federal Reserve said last month at its policy meeting that the economic moves the president has made and is expected to make likely won't have a primary impact until next year. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI
President Donald Trump speaks to reporters in the Rose Garden of the White House on Wednesday. The U.S. Federal Reserve said last month at its policy meeting that the economic moves the president has made and is expected to make likely won't have a primary impact until next year. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo

April 5 (UPI) -- The U.S. Federal Reserve addressed President Donald Trump's economic moves at its March meeting before it raised key interest rates by another quarter point, a record of the meeting showed Wednesday.

The Fed released its minutes report for the March 14-15 meeting, which concluded with policymakers hiking the federal funds rate to a target range between 0.75 and 1 percentage point -- its second increase in three months.

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The Federal Open Market Committee was nearly unanimous in its vote for an increase, but debated a bit on issues like Trump's economic agenda and inflation -- which, the minutes report showed, are not likely to be felt until next year.

"Participants continued to underscore the considerable uncertainty about the timing and nature of potential changes to fiscal policies as well as the size of the effects of such changes on economic activity," the report said. "However, several participants now anticipated that meaningful fiscal stimulus would likely not begin until 2018."

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Members of the board also discussed the impact of policy actions on inflation, which the Fed values at around 2 percent as a gauge of good economic health. Unemployment, presently at a low of 4.7 percent, is directly tied to inflation forecasts.

"The staff viewed the uncertainty around its projections for real GDP growth, the unemployment rate, and inflation as similar to the average of the past 20 years," the minutes said.

Nine members of the board voted for the rate increase, and just one voted against. Previously, the Federal Reserve said it anticipated three rate increases in 2017, the March hike being the first. Last week, a non-voting Fed member voiced support for four increases in 2017.

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