Watch live: Fed chairman Powell holds news conference after interest rate decision

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is speaking at a news conference Wednesday afternoon following the March meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).

There’s no decisive indication in advance whether the Fed will continue its yearlong aggressive course of interest rate hikes, or instead hold off on an increase this time. Goldman Sachs, for one, is forecasting a pause in the Fed’s upward drive.

Still, most experts are predicting a 25 basis point rise to come out of the FOMC meeting, which would put the new benchmark rates at 4.75 percent to 5 percent.

Recent disturbances in the banking sector, including last weekend’s emergency takeover of Credit Suisse by UBS, may have given the FOMC some cause for reflection, at least regarding its short term policy. Analysts believe that the sharply rising federal interest rate was a major contributor to the instability of several mid-size banks, most notably the failed Silicon Valley Bank (SVB).

Nonetheless, Powell has recently — albeit pre-SVB collapse — made an argument for staying the course, saying that the hikes’ effect on inflation may be flagging. In either case, Goldman’s economists expect that any pause in the Fed’s upward interest rate trend would likely be temporary. The FOMC will next meet in May.

The press conference is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET.

Watch the live video above.

Tags Banks borrowing Federal Reserve Jerome Powell Loans

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