FOMC Meeting Results

Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) Meeting Results

Dr. Edmond J. Seifried

Dr. Seifried provides excerpts from an official published statement on the Federal Open Market Committee’s meetings.

FOMC Meeting Results, October 2019


Meeting Date:  October 29-30, 2019

Fed cuts Benchmark Rate by 0.25%!

 Third consecutive rate cut!

  Feds funds rate now at 1.50% - 1.75%!

Decision was controversial:  Two dissenting votes!

  Esther L. George and Eric S. Rosengren voted against the cut.  They preferred to keep the rate unchanged. 

Meeting Location:  Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve Board Building, Washington DC

 
Economic Highlights
FOMC declares the economy has changed little since their last meeting of September 2019. While labor markets remain healthy, household spending has increased, but business fixed investment and exports remain weak compared to earlier this year.
  • "Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in September indicates that the labor market remains strong and that economic activity has been rising at a moderate rate. 
  • Job gains have been solid, on average, in recent months, and the unemployment rate has remained low
  • Although household spending has been rising at a strong pace, business fixed investment and exports remain weak.
  • On a 12-month basis, overall inflation and inflation for items other than food and energy are running below 2 percent.
  • Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed."

Announcements
Fed funds rate lowered by ¼%. New fed funds range is 1.50 -1.75%. The Fed remains determined to keep the expansion moving forward.  But Fed admits the future has become more uncertain
  • “Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. The Committee decided to lower the target range for the federal funds rate to 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 percent.
  • This action supports the Committee's view that sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation near the Committee's symmetric 2 percent objective are the most likely outcomes, but uncertainties about this outlook remain.
  • As the Committee contemplates the future path of the target range for the federal funds rate, it will continue to monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook and will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion, with a strong labor market and inflation near its symmetric 2 percent objective.”
 
Forward Guidance
The Fed indicated that future rate hikes will depend on economic conditions such as labor market changes, indicators of inflation pressures and any changes in inflation expectations and international developments
  • “In determining the timing and size of future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate, the Committee will assess realized and expected economic conditions relative to its maximum employment objective and its symmetric 2 percent inflation objective.
  • This assessment will take into account a wide range of information, including measures of labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial and international developments.”
 
Voting Results
Two dissenting votes:  Two members wanted no rate cut at all!

Voting for the monetary policy action were Jerome H. Powell, Chair, John C. Williams, Vice Chair; Michelle W. Bowman; Lael Brainard; Richard H. Clarida; Charles L. Evans; James Bullard and Randal K. Quarles.

Voting against the action were Esther L. George and Eric S. Rosengren, who preferred to maintain the target range at 1.75-2.00%.

 
Next Meeting:  December 10-11, 2019

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The preceding information contains excerpts from an official published statement on the Federal Open Market Committee’s October 29-30, 2019 meeting.  For full text, please visit the Federal Reserve website.

Dr. Ed Seifried is Chief Economist and Strategic Advisor at BNK Advisory Group. He is also professor of economics and business at Lafayette College in Easton, PA, and a faculty member of numerous graduate banking schools, including Stonier Graduate School of Banking and the Graduate School of Retail Bank Management. He also serves as dean of The West Virginia and Virginia Banking Management Schools. Dr. Seifried is a nationally recognized speaker and is the author of both academic and popular articles and books. He is the co-author of BNK's Art of Strategic Planning in Community Banks and The Art of Risk in Community Banks, a series for the committed bank director. He holds his doctorate in economics and business from West Virginia University.
 
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