July 26, 2017

FOMC keeps current rate target, reinvestment policy

The Federal Open Market Committee announced at the close of its two-day, policy-setting meeting Wednesday that it is maintaining its current federal funds target rate and reinvestment policy for now.

The FOMC noted that, "For the time being, 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."

"At its last meeting, the Committee reaffirmed that it expects to raise rates one more time this year," said NAFCU Chief Economist and Vice President of Research Curt Long. "That will have to wait until December, most likely, and some firming of inflation will be needed in the coming months in order for that to happen. Meanwhile, the Committee sent a clear signal that it expects to start tapering the Fed's balance sheet in September. At this point, it would take a seismic event to derail those plans."

The committee also noted that "the labor market has continued to strengthen" and "household spending and business fixed investment have continued to expand," but it said overall inflation and core inflation have declined. The committee stressed that it "expects that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant gradual increases in the federal funds rate."

More from the FOMC's actions are detailed in a NAFCU Macro Data Flash report released Wednesday.

The FOMC last raised the federal funds target rate to a range of 1 to 1.25 percent in June. The FOMC will meet again Sept. 19-20.