September 20, 2020

Northwest FCS News

Meeting Date:  September 15-16, 2020

Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) Meeting Results

This meeting was a virtual  meeting

Fed pledges to use full range of tools to assist the economy.

Fed warns of additional economic and financial harm that the virus might cause.

Fed forecasts the course of the economy will depend on the course of the virus.

Fed announces new "average" inflation target.

Fed does not change rates - keeps interest rate range  at  0.0% - 0.25%

 Economic Highlights:
The Federal Reserve pledges to do everything in its power to assist the economy.
  • “The Federal Reserve is committed to using its full range of tools to support the U.S. economy in this challenging time, thereby promoting its maximum employment and price stability goals.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic is causing tremendous human and economic hardship across the United States and around the world. 
  • Economic activity and employment have picked up in recent months but remain well below their levels at the beginning of the year. 
  • Weaker demand and significantly lower oil prices are holding down consumer price inflation. Overall financial conditions have improved in recent months, in part reflecting policy measures to support the economy and the flow of credit to U.S. households and businesses.
  • The path of the economy will depend significantly on the course of the virus.”




Fed funds rate unchanged. Fed funds range remains at 0.0% -0.25%. Fed pledges more bond buying if necessary. Fed announces details of its new average inflation target.
  • “The Committee decided to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and expects it will be appropriate to maintain this target range until labor market conditions have reached levels consistent with the Committee's assessments of maximum employment and inflation has risen to 2 percent and is on track to moderately exceed 2 percent for some time.
  • In addition, over the coming months the Federal Reserve will increase its holdings of Treasury securities and agency mortgage-backed securities at least at the current pace to sustain smooth market functioning and help foster accommodative financial conditions, thereby supporting the flow of credit to households and businesses.
  • The Committee seeks to achieve maximum employment and inflation at the rate of 2 percent over the longer run. With inflation running persistently below this longer-run goal, the Committee will aim to achieve inflation moderately above 2 percent for some time so that inflation averages 2 percent over time and longer-term inflation expectations remain well anchored at 2 percent.”
 Voting Results
Two dissenting votes

 Voting for the monetary policy action were Jerome H. Powell, Chair; John C. Williams, Vice Chair; Michelle W. Bowman; Lael Brainard; Richard H. Clarida; Patrick Harker; Loretta J. Mester; and Randal K. Quarles. 

Voting against the action were Robert S. Kaplan, who expects that it will be appropriate to maintain the current target range until the Committee is confident that the economy has weathered recent events and is on track to achieve its maximum employment and price stability goals as articulated in its new policy strategy statement, but prefers that the Committee retain greater policy rate flexibility beyond that point; and Neel Kashkari, who prefers that the Committee to indicate that it expects to maintain the current target range until core inflation has reached 2 percent on a sustained basis.

Next Meeting:  November 4-5, 2020


The preceding information contains excerpts from an official published statement on the Federal Open Market Committee’s March 15, 2020 meeting.  For full text, please visit the Federal Reserve website.