Fed Holds Rates Steady at March FOMC Meeting

The central bank will look to cut interest rates three times by the end of 2024.

  • The Federal Reserve (Fed) elected to not raise the federal funds rate at the March 2024 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting.
  • It is the fifth consecutive meeting during which the central bank has chosen to hold interest rates steady, with its last rate hike coming in July 2023.
  • The central bank's updated "dot plot" includes three rate cuts by the end of 2024.
  • The federal funds rate target range remains 5.25%-5.50% and the Fed's cumulative total increase sits at 525 basis points (bps) since March 2022.
  • Fed Chair Jerome Powell reiterated that the central bank remains fully committed to bringing inflation down to its stated 2% target.

As was widely expected, the Fed closed out its March 19-20, 2024, FOMC meeting by holding the federal funds rate at its current target range of 5.25%-5.50%. This decision marks the fifth consecutive FOMC meeting where the central bank elected to keep interest rates at their current levels.

The federal funds rate remains at its highest mark in over 20 years, but as indicated in the updated Summary of Economic Projections (SEP) and “dot plot,” rate cuts remain on the horizon, with the Fed forecasting three 25 bps cuts occurring by year’s end.