On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged while simultaneously predicting only two rate hikes throughout 2016, half of what was projected in December 2015. Slimmer hikes are also predicted; the forecast projects a rate hike of 0.9 percent, a drastic dip when compared to the 1.4 percent rate mentioned last year.
Moving past 2016, the Fed expects rates to top 1.9 percent by the end of next year, reaching 3 percent in 2018.
“We continue to see risks,” said Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen during a press conference. Yellen went on to note that “the U.S. economy has been very resilient in recent months.”
Following the Fed’s statement, U.S. stocks moved into a positive place. The S&P 500 closed at its highest level of the year, topping its 200-day moving average.
The next few months will prove telling for the country’s economic progress, and no rate hike is expected to hit before June.