The US Federal Reserve has increased interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point - the third rate hike this year. It comes as Fed chair Janet Yellen prepares to leave the role
after Donald Trump decided to replace her.
The Federal Reserve has started to run down some of the investments it made to boost the US economy after the financial crisis. The Fed holds a US$4.2trn portfolio of US Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities, and it will initially cut up to US$10bn each month from the amount it reinvests.
The United States economy added a solid 209,000 jobs in July, exceeding economists’ estimates as the labor market shows few signs of slowing down. The unemployment rate last month fell to 4.3% from 4.4%, the Labor Department reported on Friday.
The United States economy gathered speed in the second quarter of the year, growing at an annualized pace of 2.6%. The pick-up was helped by consumer spending in the quarter expanding at a pace of 2.8%, and businesses stepping up spending on equipment.
JP Morgan Chase boss Jamie Dimon condemned the state of US politics on Friday, saying political gridlock is hurting the US economy, and called Americans must get our act together or risk limiting themselves to 1.5% to 2% growth.
US jobs growth staged a bigger recovery than expected in April as businesses added 211,000 posts. Figures from the US Department of Labour also showed the unemployment rate dropped slightly to 4.4%, compared with 4.5% in March.
The Federal Reserve announced on Wednesday that it held its benchmark interest rate after a two-day policy meeting, as had widely been expected. And it added that the recent showdown in US growth is likely temporary.
The US economy slowed dramatically in the first three months of the year, according to official data. GDP expanded at an annual rate of 0.7% in the first quarter - the slowest rate since the first quarter of 2014, which is unwelcome news for President Donald Trump who, during his election campaign, made a pledge to raise growth to 4%.
The US economy grew at an annual pace of 1.9% in the fourth quarter of last year, according to official figures. That was slower than the 2.2% growth rate economists had been expecting and below third quarter growth of 3.5%, which means annual GDP rose by 1.6%, the slowest since 2011 and down on 2015 when the world's largest economy expanded by 2.6%.
United States unemployment rate fell to a nine-year low in November, adding to expectations that US interest rates will rise later this month. Figures from the Labor Department showed the US economy created 178,000 jobs in November, while the jobless rate fell to 4.6% from 4.9% in October.