October 29, 2015

Northwest FCS News

Meeting Date: October 27-28, 2015

Economic Highlights
Economic portrait of the economy similar to the September statement, except for one area. The reference to the economic troubles abroad removed from this current statement.
“Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in September suggests that economic activity has been expanding at a moderate pace. Household spending and business fixed investment have been increasing at solid rates in recent months, and the housing sector has improved further; however, net exports have been soft. The pace of job gains slowed and the unemployment rate held steady. Nonetheless, labor market indicators, on balance, show that underutilization of labor resources has diminished since early this year. Inflation has continued to run below the Committee's longer-run objective, partly reflecting declines in energy prices and in prices of non-energy imports. Market-based measures of inflation compensation moved slightly lower; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable.”

Policy Announcements
Rates unchanged, but the potential for a December meeting rate hike specifically mentioned.
"In determining whether it will be appropriate to raise the target range at its next meeting, the committee will assess progress - both realized and expected - toward its objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation,"

Interest Rates: Still at zero

“To support continued progress toward maximum employment and price stability, the Committee today reaffirmed its view that the current 0 to 1/4 percent target range for the federal funds rate remains appropriate. “

Fed’s Security Holdings
No change from last FOMC meeting. Total dollars injected into the economy from the Large Scale Asset Purchase programs to remain constant.
“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. This policy, by keeping the Committee's holdings of longer-term securities at sizable levels, should help maintain accommodative financial conditions.

Forward Guidance
A repeat of the September statement.
“When the Committee decides to begin to remove policy accommodation, it will take a balanced approach consistent with its longer-run goals of maximum employment and inflation of 2 percent. The Committee currently anticipates that, even after employment and inflation are near mandate-consistent levels, economic conditions may, for some time, warrant keeping the target federal funds rate below levels the Committee views as normal in the longer run.”

Voting Results
The dissent continues at the October meeting. Richmond President Jeffery Lacker preferred to raise the target rate for the federal funds rate by 25 basis points at this meeting and voted against the action.
Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Janet L. Yellen, Chair; William C. Dudley, Vice Chairman; Lael Brainard; Charles L. Evans; Stanley Fischer; Dennis P. Lockhart; Jerome H. Powell; Daniel K. Tarullo; and John C. Williams. Voting against was Jeffery Lacker.

Next Meeting: December 15-16, 2015

The preceding information contains excerpts from an official published statement on the Federal Open Market Committee’s October 27-28, 2015 meeting.  For full text, please visit the Federal Reserve website.