2018 Economic Calendar
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FOMC Meeting Announcement  
Released On 5/2/2018 2:00:00 PM
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Federal Funds Rate - Target Level1.50 to 1.75 %1.625 %1.50 % to 1.75 %1.50 to 1.75 %

The Fed is working a little bit of elbow room for itself when it comes to inflation which is suddenly very near target. The FOMC kept its policy rate unchanged as expected at a range of 1.50 to 1.75 percent but, regarding its 2 percent inflation target, the words "symmetric objective" are being emphasized and moved into the main text, adding a note of overshoot risk. Wording in both the March and January statements said inflation was expected to move up and stabilize around 2 percent with no hint of a risk that it might move beyond target.

Job growth in today's statement is once again described as strong but growth in overall activity as moderate. And in a hint of weakness, consumer spending is once again, as it was in the March statement, said to be moderating. One positive change is business investment which, following its first-quarter strength, has been upgraded back to strong.

Monday's core PCE price index shot up 3 tenths to 1.9 percent which is not only knocking at the 2 percent door but is already at the high end of the FOMC's forecast range for this year. Signs of inflation appear to be taking the notice of FOMC members who can't afford to get behind the inflation curve and risk an unscheduled acceleration in rate hikes. Market expectations are certain to fix on a rate hike at the June meeting. Vote for today's decision was once again 8 to 0.

Consensus Outlook
No change in rates is the unanimous consensus of Econoday's sample for the May FOMC, to hold at a mid-point 1.625 percent within a 1.50 to 1.75 percent range. First-quarter weakness will likely be understated in the statement as an anomaly with key emphasis to center on the outlook for growth and whether inflation pressures are picking up.

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

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

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