The Federal Reserve is expected to keep interest rates unchanged on Wednesday as speculation swirls on who will be its next leader, but the U.S. central bank will likely point to a firming economy as it edges closer to a possible rate rise next month.
The Fed has raised rates twice since January and currently forecasts one more hike by the end of the year as part of a tightening cycle that began in late 2015.
Investors have all but ruled out a move at the end of this week’s two-day policy meeting. The Fed is due to issue its latest policy statement at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT).
Markets will look to it for confirmation the central bank is on track for a December rate hike, though attention will quickly turn to who will be in charge of monetary policy at the end of Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s first term in February 2018.
President Donald Trump, who has interviewed Yellen, Fed Governor Jerome Powell and three others for the top Fed job, is likely to announce the nomination on Thursday.
Powell, a soft-spoken centrist who has supported Yellen’s gradual approach to raising rates, is seen as having a lock on the position.
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