In the December 2018 meeting, the federal reserve had indicated the likelihood of raising interest rates at least twice in 2019.  Wednesday, February 20, the minutes of the January 29-30th Federal Open Market Committee came out.  The Reserve is now indicating only one interest rate hike in 2019, noting they wish to avoid “the possibilities of a sharper-than-expected slowdown in global economic growth, particularly in China and Europe, a rapid waning of fiscal policy stimulus, or a further tightening of financial market conditions.”  This perceived pause on interest rate hikes prompted Market volatility before settling with lower Bonds and slightly higher stocks. 

If you’re not trading, just what does the lack of interest rate hikes mean for you? 

The short answers is that it puts us on watch for tightening economy and stable interest rates to keep our economy moving forward.  Small businesses have been getting nervous about a looming recession.  If consumers are concerned about a recession, they scale back spending.  That would mean retailers, whether online or in box stores will sell less, earn less profit and may need to cut back on expenses, and that usually means laying off workers.  However, many feel the trade talks with China will have a much bigger impact on our economy than the rate hike.  The Federal Reserve Board is suggesting patience before it takes more actions.

On the flip side of this story, if you are looking for a new home, you can enjoy lower interest rates than you might have gotten, but lending may be tighter, so it is a good idea to save some money for your down payment.  The more you have available to put down on a home, the less risk you appear to banks and other lenders.

If your debts are high, now might be a good time for you to work on lowering them too.  For some hints on how to do that, check out these blogs at