January 30 and 31 will mark the first meeting of 2018 for the Fed Open Market Committee as well as the last meeting for Janet Yellen as Chair. As we move into the second full year of Trump’s presidency, the composition of the voting members of Board of Governors will change. Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester, Richmond Interim Fed President Mark Mullinix (soon to be replaced by Thomas Barkin), Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic, and San Francisco Fed President John Williams will replace Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari as the latter rotate from voting to non-voting members.» Read More
As expected and reported on the blog last week, Fed Chair Janet Yellen and her team raised the Fed’s key interest rate by 0.25 percentage point today. While it’s the third time that the Fed has increased rates since the financial crisis, the US economy is on the move, and now, so are interest rates.
Yellen, in her remarks at the press conference today said that “[t]he simple message is the economy is doing well.» Read More
As the Fed wraps up their last of its eight 2-day meetings this year it’s likely to raise its key short-term interest rate by 0.25% or 25 basis points. So, what’s motivating the Fed to raise the rate? A number of factors are in the mix: (i) the base unemployment rate (the Department of Labor “U3 Rate”) is at its lowest since 2007, and we all remember the tail end of that boom; (ii) this year alone, the US has added approximately 2,000,000 jobs to date; (iii) with the U3 Rate at 4.6% there’s pressure building to increase wages, as employers look to add staff in a tightening employment market; and (iv) the Fed is expecting inflation to kick in during 2017. » Read More
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics released its August employment statistics this morning. The numbers fell short of the 165,000 – 185,000 total non-farm job increases expected by markets. The BLS Release at 8:30 AM DST reported that “Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 151,000 in August, and the unemployment rate remained at 4.9 percent…” noting that “employment continued to trend up in several service-providing industries.” Read the news release here.» Read More
Fed Chair Janet Yellen announced this afternoon the much anticipated increase in its benchmark interest rate from zero to 0.25%. While many of the US economic sectors have improved, the Fed has been concerned about the low inflation rate. Notwithstanding that concern, the Fed unanimously agreed to the rate hike, noting in its policy statement that “the Committee judges that there has been considerable improvement in labor market conditions this year, and it is reasonably confident that inflation will rise over the medium term to its 2 percent objective.”
The increase in the Fed’s benchmark rate ends its quantitative easing program that has been going on for the better part of a decade.» Read More