FOMC June 14, 2017 (Press Release)

Pinestone Investments

(FOMC statement)  Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in May indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising moderately so far this year.  Job gains have moderated but have been solid, on average, since the beginning of the year, and the unemployment rate has declined.  Household spending has picked up in recent months, and business fixed investment has continued to expand.  On a 12-month basis, inflation has declined recently and, like the measure excluding food and energy prices, is running somewhat below 2 percent.  Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed, on balance.  Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability.  The Committee continues to expect that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace, and labor market conditions will strengthen somewhat further.  Inflation on a 12-month basis is expected to remain somewhat below 2 percent in the near term but to stabilize around the Committee’s 2 percent objective over the medium term.  Near term risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced, but the Committee is monitoring inflation developments closely.  In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the Committee decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 1 to 1-1/4 percent.  The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting some further strengthening in labor market conditions and a sustained return to 2 percent inflation.  In determining the timing and size of future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate, the Commitee will assess realized and expected economic conditions relative to its objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation.  This assessment will take into account a wide range of information,including measures of labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial and international developments.  The Committee will carefully monitor actual and expected inflation developments relative to its symmetric inflation goal.  The Committee expects that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant gradual increases in the federal funds rate; the federal funds rate is likely to remain, for some time, below levels that are expected to prevail in the long run.  However, the actual path of the federal funds rate will depend on the economic outlook as informed by incoming data.  The committee is maintaining its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities and of rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction.  (Economic Projections)  Quarterly projections from 2017 to 2019 have showed Fed policy makers’ assessment of real GDP and Unemployment rate is 2.2%, 2.1%, 1.9% [GDP] and 4.3%, 4.2% , 4.2% [Unemployment rate] respectively [Median].  And they also have showed Fed policy makers’ assessment of PCE inflation and Federal funds rate is 1.6%, 2.0%, 2.0% [PCE inflation] and 1.4%, 2.1%, 2.9% [Federal funds rate] respectively [Median].  [Note] Policy makers have also issued forecast showing another three quarter-point rate increase in 2018.

Kazuhide Matsuishi

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