Fed likely to hold rates steady at Janet Yellen’s final meeting


Associated Press

WASHINGTON

Janet Yellen’s final Federal Reserve policy meeting will likely bring an uneventful end this week to her four-year tenure as Fed chairwoman but perhaps offer hints of the central bank’s approach to interest rates in the months to follow.

Yellen, the first woman to lead the world’s most influential central bank, will step down when her term expires at the end of this week. She will be succeeded by Jerome Powell, a Fed board member whose nomination as chairman the Senate approved 84-13 last week.

Powell, who has served on the central bank’s board since 2012, is a lawyer and investment manager by training and will be the first Fed leader in 30 years not to have a doctorate in economics. President Donald Trump chose Powell for the post rather than offer Yellen a second term despite widespread praise for her performance as chairwoman.

The evidence so far suggests that a Powell-led Fed will generally follow the same cautious approach to raising interest rates that Yellen pursued during her tenure as Fed chairwoman, at least in its early months. With the job market healthy and inflation tame, most economists say there is little reason for any abrupt change in Fed policy.

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