The Federal Open Market Committee choose to keep the current 0 to 1/4 percent target range for the federal funds rate in its June meeting, the FOMC announced Wednesday.
The committee stated that since it met in April, economic activity has been expanding moderately after having changed little during the first quarter.
As for when this will change, the committee said it will assess progress–both realized and expected–toward its objectives of maximum employment and 2% inflation.
“The committee anticipates that it will be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate when it has seen further improvement in the labor market and is reasonably confident that inflation will move back to its 2% objective over the medium term,” the release said.
The committee noted that the 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.
Currently, the committee said the growth in household spending has been moderate and the housing sector has shown some improvement.
Additionally, the pace of job gains picked up while the unemployment rate remained steady.
And once again, as for the question the entire industry keeps asking, it’s still not set when the fed will raise the federal funds rate. There was some speculation that a June hike might happen, but with new report, it only leave speculation for September to have rates rise.
Either way, this leaves the economy on track for a rate hike sometime this year.
At the end of May, in a speech at the Providence Chamber of Commerce in Providence, RI, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said that the Fed is seeing widespread economic improvement and expects that improvement to continue. And if the economy improves as expected, she believes it will be “appropriate” for the Fed to raise the Federal Funds Rate this year, which in turn, would affect mortgage interest rates.
“Because of the substantial lags in the effects of monetary policy on the economy, we must make policy in a forward-looking manner. Delaying action to tighten monetary policy until employment and inflation are already back to our objectives would risk overheating the economy,” Yellen said.
“For this reason, if the economy continues to improve as I expect, I think it will be appropriate at some point this year to take the initial step to raise the federal funds rate target and begin the process of normalizing monetary policy,” Yellen said. “To support taking this step, however, I will need to see continued improvement in labor market conditions, and I will need to be reasonably confident that inflation will move back to 2% over the medium term.”