Fed Raises Rate To 1.25%

The Federal Reserve raised the target range for its federal funds rate by 25bps to 1 percent to 1.25 percent during its June 2017 meeting, in line with market expectations. Policymakers kept forecasts for three rate hikes this year while increasing growth projections and lowering inflation expectations. In addition, details on how the central bank will start reducing its USD 4.5 trillion portfolio were also provided.

GDP growth forecasts for 2017 were increased to 2.2 percent from 2.1 percent in the March projection. The PCE inflation is seen lower at 1.6 percent this year (1.9 percent in the March projection) and unemployment is expected at 4.3 percent (4.5 percent in the March projection).

The so-called dot plot showed most FOMC members see the federal funds rate between 1.25 percent and 1.5 percent by the end of the year, suggesting another rate hike for 2017. 

Excerpts from 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.

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 Committee 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 longer 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. The Committee currently expects to begin implementing a balance sheet normalization program this year, provided that the economy evolves broadly as anticipated. This program, which would gradually reduce the Federal Reserve's securities holdings by decreasing reinvestment of principal payments from those securities, is described in the accompanying addendum to the Committee's Policy Normalization Principles and Plans.

Fed Raises Rate To 1.25%

Fed | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com
6/14/2017 6:19:43 PM