2018 Economic Calendar
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FOMC Meeting Announcement  
Released On 1/31/2018 2:00:00 PM
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Federal Funds Rate - Target Level1.25 to 1.50 %1.375 %1.250 % to 1.500 %1.25 to 1.50 %

There are no surprises in the outcome of January's FOMC announcement: no change in rates underscored by a 9 to 0 vote. But the description of inflation does get an upgrade, now said to be moving up and stabilizing around 2 percent sometime "this year". The prior FOMC statement in December described inflation as below target. Household spending, following the solid holiday shopping season, also gets an upgrade, from "moderate" to "solid" which once again are the assessments for employment and business spending.

The specificity of the inflation goal is subtle but it certainly doesn't point to any fewer rate hikes this year which are currently penciled in at three. The next FOMC announcement, on March 21, will update FOMC forecasts and include the quarterly press conference and debut of Jerome Powell as the new chair.

Consensus Outlook
No rate hike is the universal expectation for the January FOMC, the last to be chaired by Janet Yellen. What to watch will be any indications whether strong economic growth and full employment are pushing policy makers toward four rate hikes this year vs the three that are already penciled in. The federal funds target is expected to hold at a midpoint of 1.375 percent inside a range of 1.25 and 1.50 percent.

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is the policy-making arm of the Federal Reserve. It determines short-term interest rates in the U.S. when it decides the overnight rate that banks pay each other for borrowing reserves when a bank has a shortfall in required reserves. This rate is the fed funds rate. The FOMC also determines whether the Fed should add or subtract liquidity in credit markets separately from that related to changes in the fed funds rate. The Fed announces its policy decision (typically whether to change the fed funds target rate) at the end of each FOMC meeting. This is the FOMC announcement. The announcement also includes brief comments on the FOMC's views on the economy and how many FOMC members voted for and how many voted against the policy decision. Since the last recession, the statement also includes information on Fed purchases of assets, so-called "quantitative easing", which affects longer-term interest rates. Also, a key part of the announcement is guidance on potential changes in policy rates or asset purchases.  Why Investors Care
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

2018 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/313/215/26/138/19/2611/812/19

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