Interest Rates Low for Now: Consumer Prices Flat, Inflation at Bay

Interest Rates Low for Now: Consumer Prices Flat, Inflation at BayOverall consumer prices didn’t budge in December thanks partially to lower gasoline prices, which means inflation is at bay and the Federal Reserve can stay the course on interest rates.
Last month, the Fed revealed new thresholds for raising rates. It will act if unemployment falls to 6.5 percent and the inflation outlook points to 2.5 percent or higher.
Consumer can breathe a sigh of relief.
The Labor Department said on Wednesday its Consumer Price Index was unchanged in December.
In the 12 months leading into December, the CPI rose 1.7 percent, the smallest jump since August. That compares to November’s 1.8 percent increase.
To help boost economic growth and employment since the financial crisis peak of 2008, Fed officials have kept the benchmark federal funds rate at “zero to .25 percent.”
The central bank has also purchased upwards of $2 trillion in
What does all this mean for the average consumer?
A continuation of historically-low mortgage interest rates – at least below 4 percent – offered by lenders to good-credit customers, and reasonably low rates on auto loans and some credit cards.

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