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 %

Highlights
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.

Definition
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
 

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


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