The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it will keep interest rates steady despite the impact of two major hurricanes on the U.S. economy. The central bank's benchmark rate currently stands at 1 to 1.25 percent.
The decision to keep rates unchanged fell in line with experts' predictions, Business Insider reports. The Federal Open Markets Committee revealed that "economic activity has been rising at a solid rate despite hurricane-related disruptions." Unemployment rates dropped in September, even though payroll took a storm-related hit. Overall inflation has also declined over a 12-month period. The GDP annual growth rate hovered around 3 percent for the second consecutive quarter.
Still, Hurricanes Irma and Harvey will have short-term effects on the economy, the committee said. "Hurricane-related disruptions and rebuilding will continue to affect economic activity, employment, and inflation in the near term, but past experience suggests that the storms are unlikely to materially alter the course of the national economy over the medium term," the FOMC wrote.
The news was somewhat overshadowed by President Trump's expected nomination of a new Fed chair Thursday. If he does not re-select current chair Janet Yellen, The Washington Post reports that he may select Jerome Powell, a Republican who has previously served as a Fed governor.