FOMC Changes Nothing

The Federal Open Market Committee just finished their two-day meeting on January 28th, 2015, and started off the year with a whole lot of nothing! The Committee did not make any changes or do a whole lot of revisions to their previous guidance’s. This is in grave contrast to the changes that the Swiss National Bank has done as of late. While the FOMC did still make it clear that they are still keeping the door open to the possibility of a June rate hike, Janet Yellen and the entire committee released in their statement, “However, if incoming information indicates faster progress toward the Committee’s employment and inflation objectives than the Committee now expects, then increases in the target range for the federal funds rate are likely to occur sooner than currently anticipated.  Conversely, if progress proves slower than expected, then increases in the target range are likely to occur later than currently anticipated.” The Committee managed to say a whole 529 words without saying anything new at all. As Sarah Portlock wrote in her Wall Street Journal article, Economists React to the January Fed Statement: ‘The Door is Still Open to a June Hike’, “The FOMC was able to take a pass today, but the rubber will hit the road in March, when the committee will presumably need to tweak the forward guidance language if it wants to keep a June rate move on the table.” Everyone was eagerly awaiting to hear more about their guidance on these rate hikes, but were all utterly disappointed at having to wait until they meet again to learn anything new. This spelt trouble for the stock markets as Alex Veiga reported in his article, Stocks fade late as oil dips, Fed gives investors pause, “The market had been in a wait -and-see mode in advance of the Fed statement, drifting between small gains and losses for much of the day… The market initially perked up after the Fed issued its statement at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. But the gains were short-lived, and by late afternoon three major indexes slumped, extending their losses for the year. The Dow is now 4.8 percent below its all-time high of 18,053.71 on Dec. 26. The S&P 500 index is down 4.2 percent from its high of 2,090.57 on Dec. 29.” This is due to the fact that the Fed kept in a June target to begin their rate hikes, because as interest rates go up they usually make stocks less attractive relative to bonds. Let’s hope that while the US and the FOMC had the most uneventful Central Bank meeting as of late, that Janet Yellen and her committee members truly know what is best to keep our economy humming!

 

One thought on “FOMC Changes Nothing

  1. Zach Schoettle

    It is really true that the Federal Reserve did not say much in their recent meeting. It will be interesting in the next couple months to see if what way the economy will go, and the Fed’s reaction to it. As the US’s fourth quarter growth rate was only 2.6%, it will be interesting to see if the economy will shake that off in this next year. Also, it would be interesting to see unemployment continue to go down substantially with a low growth rate.

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