The Federal Reserve opted to keep interest rates steady on Wednesday but signaled that the next rate hike was imminent if trends in the economy continue. The Fed officials cited slower-than-expected growth in the first quarter of the year but noted that "job gains were solid" and that "the unemployment rate declined."
The statement released after the meeting suggest that the Fed remains on course to raise short-term interest rates two more times this year. They last did so in March. According to CME Group which tracks Fed funds futures, over 70 percent of investors predict the next hike will come in June.
Federal interest rates are the benchmark for most consumer debt like credit cards and personal loans. Mortgage rates however are more closely tied to the yield on 10-year Treasury notes. Currently, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.125 percent while 15-year rates are near 3.25 percent.
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