2017 Economic Calendar
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FOMC Meeting Announcement  
Released On 12/13/2017 2:00:00 PM
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Federal Funds Rate - Target Level1.00 to 1.25 %1.375 %1.250 % to 1.500 %1.25 to 1.50 %

Highlights
It was a 7 to 2 vote but the FOMC, as expected, has indeed lifted its federal funds target by 25 basis points, to a 1.25 to 1.50 percent range. The committee expects the labor market to "remain strong" and the economy to continue to rise. Growth in household spending is once again described as "moderate" and most still expect inflation to move higher and stabilize around 2 percent. Members continue to describe policy as accommodative and repeat that near-term risks are balanced. The two doves who voted against the hike come from the regional Feds: Evans of Chicago and Kashkari of Minneapolis. Their dissent underscores skepticism that high levels of employment will lead to wage-push inflation.

There was no upward movement in the quarterly funds forecasts for next year with three more 25 basis point moves still penciled in to 2.1 percent, though here the bias may be to the downside as six members see funds below this rate by the end of next year vs four who see it above the rate. The outlook for 2019 also calls for three similar hikes with two hikes now the call for 2020, up from one previously.

There was no mention of tax policy in the statement though GDP forecasts are up with 2018 now at a median 2.5 percent from 2.1 percent though the long run median holds at a very modest 1.8 percent. The unemployment forecast, where change is the most evident, is now forecast to fall to 3.9 percent next year from the prior call for 4.1 percent.

Consensus Outlook
The economy is at full employment and the Federal Open Market Committee appears guaranteed to raise its federal funds target for a third time as planned this year. Econoday's panelists all see the target rising 25 basis points to a range of 1.25 to 1.50 percent. Quarterly FOMC forecasts will be of special interest and whether they reflect any early expectations for tax cut stimulus.

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
 
[Chart]
The Fed closely monitors the core PCE price index to indicate whether or not policy is approximately correct, overly accommodative, or too restrictive. The PCE price index is preferred to the CPI because it is more closely aligned to the cost of living than the CPI [which measures a fixed basket of goods & services.] This chart covers monthly data and the fed funds target rate reflects the monthly average. As such, it will not correspond to the most recent fed funds rate target
Data Source: Haver Analytics
 

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


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