May 1, 2019

Northwest FCS News

Meeting Date:  April 30 - May 1, 2019
Economic Highlights
FOMC declares the economy has changed little since their last meeting of March 20, 2019. While labor markets remain healthy, household spending and business fixed investment slowed in the first three months of 2019. Inflation has declined lately and is below the 2.0% goal. Longer-term inflation expectations are relatively stable.
  • “Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in March indicates that the labor market remains strong and that economic activity rose at a solid rate.
  • Job gains have been solid, on average, in recent months, and the unemployment rate has remained low.
  • Growth of household spending and business fixed investment slowed in the first quarter. On a 12-month basis, overall inflation and inflation for items other than food and energy have declined and are running below 2%.
  • On balance, market-based measures of inflation compensation have remained low in recent months, and survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed.”
Fed funds rate unchanged at the range of 2.25-2.50%. And repeating the language from the previous meeting, the FOMC declares they will be “patient” in determining future rate hikes.
  • “Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. In support of these goals, the Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 2-1/4 to 2-1/2%.
  • In light of global economic and financial developments and muted inflation pressures, the Committee will be patient as it determines what future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate may be appropriate to support these outcomes.”
Forward Guidance
The Fed indicated that future rate hikes will depend on economic conditions such as labor market changes, indicators of inflation pressures and any changes in inflation expectations, as well as any new financial and international developments. Plus, it expects no major changes in the economy going forward.
  • “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 maximum employment objective and its symmetric 2% inflation objective.
  • 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 continues to view sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation near the Committee's symmetric 2% objective as the most likely outcomes.”
Voting Results
No dissenting vote at this meeting.
Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Jerome H. Powell, Chair; John C. Williams, Vice Chair; Michelle W. Bowman; Lael Brainard; James Bullard; Richard H. Clarida; Charles L. Evans; Esther L. George; Randal K. Quarles; and Eric S. Rosengren.
Next Meeting:  June 18-19, 2019


The preceding information contains excerpts from an official published statement on the Federal Open Market Committee’s Jan. 1-2, 2018 meeting.  For full text, please visit the Federal Reserve website.