Moderate Growth


The central bank, last week, increased the federal funds interest rate by a quarter percentage point, to between 0.75 to 1 percent. This indicates the US economy is strong, but still growing moderately, with vigorous job creation in February and inflation close to the 2 percent objective. Growth predictions remained unchanged at around 2 percent for this year, increasing slightly to 2.1 percent in 2018 and 1.9 percent in 2019.

This contrasts with the campaign promise of the new administration of pushing economic growth over 3 percent, resulting from less regulation, lower taxes and infrastructure spending, which have generated optimism among investors and consumers. However, while the stock market has reached record highs and the index of consumer confidence has increased, it will take a while to approve the legislation required to implement the campaign promises. According to Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the sequence is “health care, tax policy and then infrastructure.” In other words, infrastructure spending will have to wait until 2018.

Therefore, during the press conference held after the Federal Reserve meeting, Chairwoman Janet Yellen said the outlook could change if “a major shift in spending” results from those expectations. She added, the central bank welcomes “stronger economic growth in the context of price stability.”

*International analyst and consultant. Commentator on economic and financial issues for CNN en Español TV and radio, UNIVISION, TELEMUNDO and other media. Former Director, UNECLAC Washington.

About Ramón Jiménez

Ramón Jiménez, actual Managing Editor de MetroLatinoUSA. Periodista que cubre eventos de las comunidades latinas en Washington D.C., Maryland y Virginia. Graduado de la Escuela de Periodismo de la Universidad del Distrito de Columbia. Galardonado en numerosas ocasiones por parte de la Asociación Nacional de Publicaciones Hispanas (NAHP) y otras organizaciones comunitarias y deportivas de la región metropolitana de esta capital. También premiado en dos ocasiones como Mejor Periodista del Año por la cobertura de la comunidad salvadoreña; premios otorgados por la Oficina de Asuntos Latinos del Alcalde de Washington (OLA) y otras organizaciones. Ha sido miembro del jurado calificador en diferentes concursos literarios, de belleza y talento en la región metropolitana. Ha visitado zonas de desastre en Nicaragua, Honduras y El Salvador e invitado a esos países por organizaciones que asisten a personas de escasos recursos económicos. Antes trabajó en otros medios de prensa de Virginia y Washington, D.C., incluyendo reportajes para una agencia noticiosa mundial.

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