Politics & MoneyMortgage

Brexit proved too much a wild card for Fed officials

June meeting shows interest rates impact concern

The Federal Reserve’s minutes from the June meeting showed officials held off on raising mortgage rates in June due to the uncertainties surrounding the U.S. labor market and the financial stability that threatened their outlook, according to an article by Jeanna Smialek for Bloomberg.

Nonfarm payroll employment changed very little in the May report with an increase of 38,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Although the May jobs report showed a shockingly low number of jobs added, it is the inflation rate that was keeping the Fed from rising interest rates, Janet Yellen, chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, said in June at the Philadelphia World Affairs Council.

The U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union had yet to be decided, also keeping the Fed from raising rates.

Previously, the Fed predicted that it would be raising rates possibly even as soon as July, however that may not be an option anymore. 

After much speculation on the U.K.’s decision, British voters decided to leave the European Union, now many speculate about how this will affect the U.S. economy.

The general consensus among those experts is that mortgage interest rates are going down, but just how low?

Well, according to analysts at Fitch Ratings, mortgage rates could hit all-time lows as the Brexit dust settles.

From the Bloomberg article:

The minutes of their June 14-15 meeting show that the Federal Open Market Committee saw it prudent to wait for the result of Britain’s June 23 referendum, which at the time was still too close to call. The decision in favor of Brexit has since sent the pound tumbling and has driven bond yields to record lows.

The committee also weighed the health of the U.S. economy and the long-run trajectory for rate increases. A slowdown in hiring was among their chief concerns and another reason for caution. While “participants generally agreed that it was advisable to avoid overreacting to one or two labor-market reports,” the implications of recent employment data were viewed as “uncertain,” the minutes show. Most officials judged that they needed more information on jobs, production and spending.

However, Capital Economics and Goldman Sachs continue to predict that the Fed will raise rates this year, assuming a few key factors fall into place.

From the article:

At the Fed’s June meeting, monetary policy makers continued to project two rate increases in 2016, but cut their projections to three increases in each of the next two years, down from four. Policy makers’ median estimate for the longer run rate also fell, to 3 percent from 3.25 percent in their March estimates.

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