The FOMC will raise the fed funds target range to 2.25%-2.5% and there will be no change in its balance sheet policy. The 2019 rate dot median is more likely than not to drop to two from three hikes in what will otherwise be a modest flattening of a still upward rate trajectory across the forecasting horizon. The “further gradual” phrasing is likely to be dropped from the formal statement and Chairman Jerome Powell will stress instead the data-dependent, risk management policy approach going forward. It would be premature in December to offer a signaling to an end to the rate tightening cycle.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell
suggested he’ll be more cautious about raising interest rates
next year, disappointing investors who wanted even more
“There’s significant uncertainty about both the path and
the ultimate destination of any further rate increases,’’ he
told a press conference Wednesday after the U.S. central bank
bumped its target range for rates up by a quarter percentage
point to 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent.
Investors gave Powell and the Fed the thumbs down, with the
worst stock market decline for any Federal Open Market Committee
announcement day since 2011. The selling gathered pace in Asia,
with Japanese equities sliding into a bear market.
Some analysts attributed the global sell-off to
disappointment that the Federal Open Market Committee hadn’t
signaled that it was finished raising rates after its fourth
increase this year, which defied President Trump’s calls for