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Fed ups its GDP forecast for 2019 slightly to 2.2%

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Key Points
  • The Fed now expects GDP to grow at a 2.2% pace for 2019, versus the 2.1% forecast in June.
  • The unemployment rate is expected to rise to 3.7% this year, slightly above the 3.6% projection in June.
The Eccles Building, location of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and of the Federal Open Market Committee, June 2, 2016 in Washington, DC.
Brooks Kraft | Getty Images

The Federal Reserve dialed up its growth expectations slightly while keeping its inflation projection unchanged, according to its Summary of Economic Projections.

Source: Federal Reserve

The central bank now expects GDP to grow at a 2.2% pace for 2019, versus the 2.1% forecast in June. The unemployment rate is expected to rise to 3.7% this year, slightly above the 3.6% projection in June.

The GDP outlook for 2020 stayed unchanged at 2%.

The Fed still expects headline inflation to grow at 1.5% this year, while its expectations for core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, stayed at 1.8%.

The Federal Open Market Committee approved a much-anticipated quarter-point interest rate cut on Wednesday, taking down its benchmark overnight lending rate to a target range of 1.75% to 2%. The Fed sees no further rate cuts in 2019 and 2020, but policymakers are divided in its rate outlook.

The economy grew at a 2.0% annualized rate in the second quarter, slower than a 3.1% growth rate in the January-March quarter. The unemployment rate stayed at a historic low of 3.7% in August.