For most of the year, the Federal Reserve Board has signaled that a rise in interest rates was forthcoming as the United States jobless rate fell to the lowest levels since 2008. However, those signals have yet to materialize into action, and the board’s September meeting passed with interest rates remaining at historically low levels. That doesn’t mean an interest rate hike isn’t on the horizon. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen has not ruled out raising rates before the end of the year, though other board members have publicly questioned whether such a move would be premature amid the uncertainty about the national economy’s health. Yet the question on interest rates isn’t if, but when, they will be raised and what that will mean for the economy across the country, including Nevada.


The Fed hasn’t raised interest rates since the economy was soaring in 2006. It slashed rates in the middle of the Great Recession to loosen credit markets, encourage borrowing, and stimulate the economy. The low interest rate environment has helped the nation’s economic recovery, but some at the Fed worry price inflation could take hold if interest rates don’t rise soon. Opponents of an imminent rate hike argue that although unemployment is the lowest since before the recession, wages have stagnated and annual inflation remains well below the target of 2.0 percent.

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