Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks at a news conference following the Federal Open Market Committee meetings in Washington, U.S., March 21, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
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The Fed has been gradually hiking rates since late 2015 with little sign of tighter conditions hampering economic recovery.The last time rates moved into positive real territory on a sustained basis was the spring of 2005 when the Fed began tightening rapidly after a period of arguably too-lax monetary policy, ending just months before the start of the 2007/09 financial crisis.After the expected June increase the Fed's target interest rate will be set at a range of between 1.75 percent and 2 percent, matching the Fed's inflation target and roughly in-line with the latest inflation data. That translates to a real rate of roughly zero and is already at neutral, according to some policymakers who feel the Fed should stop hiking now.
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