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 %

Highlights
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.

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
 

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


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