As investors eagerly await President Donald Trump’s Federal Reserve chair nomination, the central bank’s policy-setting committee will meet quietly in the background this week. If all goes as expected, they’ll announce on Wednesday that they’re holding interest rates unchanged.Trump plans to announce his pick Thursday and is said to be leaning toward selecting Fed Governor Jerome Powell. Other candidates on his shortlist include Stanford University economist John Taylor, former Fed Governor Kevin Warsh, and current Chair Janet Yellen, whom the president has called “terrific.”The rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee will review U.S. growth that appears sturdy spite disruptions from a spate of devastating hurricanes. That leaves them on track to raise rates in December, even though inflation remains on the low side. Here’s what to watch for when the policy statement is released at 2 p.m. in Washington:Fed officials won’t publish quarterly economic projections with this meeting, nor will it be followed by a Yellen press conference. The biggest changes to the statement will probably come from an upgrade in the FOMC’s description of the U.S. economy. That would further cement the case for a move in December, though it’s unlikely that the committee will change the statement’s language to explicitly signal a rate hike. Investors view the probability of a rate increase in December at more than 80 percent, according to pricing in federal funds futures contracts.
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