2017 Economic Calendar
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FOMC Meeting Announcement  
Released On 2/1/2017 2:00:00 PM
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Federal Funds Rate - Target Level0.50 to 0.75 %0.625 %0.50 % to 0.75 %0.50 to 0.75 %

Highlights
The Fed surprised no one by keeping policy unchanged at the January FOMC, though the statement does upgrade inflation and should confirm expectations for several rate hikes sometime this year.

Inflation "will" rise is the new language vs "expected to rise" in the December statement, referring to the Fed's 2 percent inflation target. Moreover, the language now excludes references to the transitory factors that were holding down inflation (energy prices and non-energy imports).

Otherwise the statement is little changed. Moderate is still the description of economic activity. Household spending is up moderately while business investment remains soft, right in line with the prior statement. Jobs are described as solid with further gains expected and, as the statement says, supported by still accommodative monetary policy.

There is no mention of fiscal stimulus under the new administration and no mention of winding down the Fed's $4.5 trillion balance sheet. And of course there is no reference to the timing of the next rate hike.

Is a hike at the next meeting in March on the table? The incremental upward assessment for inflation, not to mention ongoing strength in the labor market, do argue for a rate hike, though events in Washington make March look like a long time off.

Consensus Outlook
After lifting rates in December for only the second time this cycle, the FOMC is expected to hold policy steady at the January 31 and February 1 meeting. The beige book (prepared for this meeting) described economic activity as no better than modest to moderate though it did cite the sharp improvement in business expectations. Labor market strength and related wage inflation were also cited. At the last meeting in December, questions over the effects of new fiscal stimulus under the Trump administration were not highlighted, a meeting that also included a press conference and forecast updates. This meeting will include only a statement.

Definition
The FOMC meeting announcement is a policy statement issued at the conclusion of each meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee. It offers updates on economic conditions with special focus on the health of the labor market and the latest on inflation. It also updates the status of the federal funds target which is the FOMC's official policy interest rate. This rate is expressed within a range, such as 1.75 to 2.00 percent. The center of this range is the implied target. The higher this target, the more restrictive monetary policy becomes, the lower this target, the more accommodative policy becomes. Other policy tools are also discussed in the meeting announcement including updates on direct purchases of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities. Debate is not offered in the statement, just the consensus view is expressed, though the statement does list the total committee vote and how each member voted.  Why Investors Care
 

2017 Release Schedule
Released On: 2/13/155/36/147/269/2011/112/13
 


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