Fed Hikes Again, Modifies Accommodation Language, Plans on 2 More Hikes in 2018
The latest increase, the second this year, will bring the benchmark federal-funds rate to a range between 1.75% and 2%. Officials penciled in a total of four rate increases for this year, up from a projection of three increases at their March meeting.
“The economy is doing very well,” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said at a news conference after the meeting. “Most people who want to find jobs are finding them, and unemployment and inflation are low.”
Parsing the Fed
The WSJ's Statement Tracker compared the Fed's June Statement with the Fed's May Statement. One could also do this in Word or other word processors.
The key difference was the removal of this paragraph:
"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 further 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 Fed's "Dot Plot" part of the Fed's Projection Materials, show a majority of FOMC participants now expect the Fed to get in two more hikes this year.
I side with the two brave souls who suggest none. Regardless, the key point is we are very close to the end of tightening. The participants expecting 4.0% or even 3.5% rates are in Fantasyland.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock