- Labor Market improvement slowed with job gains diminishing as unemployment rate declined.
- Growth in economic activity appears to have picked up.
- Households spending has strengthened, but business fixed investment has been soft.
- Housing sector continued improvement.
- Inflation remains below 2% long run objective due to earlier declines in energy prices and falling import prices.
- Will closely monitor global economic and financial development.
- Bottom Line: No policy change … data dependent … low rates for some time and expects economic conditions to evolve in a manner that will warrant only gradual increases.
[Using the FOMC April 27, 2016 Press Release as the base document, the June 15, 2016 Press Release changes are highlighted in the form of deletions (strike out) or insertions (in blue).]
June 15, 2016
For immediate release
Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in March April indicates that the pace of improvement in the labor market has slowed while conditions have improved further even as growth in economic activity appears to have slowed picked up. Although the unemployment rate has declined, job gains have diminished. Growth in household spending has strengthened moderated, although households’ real income has risen at a solid rate and consumer sentiment remains high. Since the beginning of the year, the housing sector has continued to improved and the drag from net imports appears to have lessened, further but business fixed investment has and net exports have been soft. A range of recent indicators, including strong job gains, points to additional strengthening of the labor market. Inflation has continued to run below the Committee’s 2 percent longer-run objective, partly reflecting earlier declines in energy prices and in falling prices of non-energy imports. Market-based measures of inflation compensation declined; most remain low; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed, on balance, in recent months.
Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. The Committee currently expects that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace and labor market indicators will continue to strengthen. Inflation is expected to remain low in the near term, in part because of earlier declines in energy prices, but to rise to 2 percent over the medium term as the transitory effects of past declines in energy and import prices dissipate and the labor market strengthens further. The Committee continues to closely monitor inflation indicators and global economic and financial developments.
Against this backdrop, the Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1/4 to 1/2 percent. The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting further improvement in labor market conditions and a return to 2 percent inflation.
In determining the timing and size of future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate, the Committee will assess realized and expected economic conditions relative to its objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation. This 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. In light of the current shortfall of inflation from 2 percent, the Committee will carefully monitor actual and expected progress toward its inflation goal. The Committee expects that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant only gradual increases in the federal funds rate; the federal funds rate is likely to remain, for some time, below levels that are expected to prevail in the longer run. However, the actual path of the federal funds rate will depend on the economic outlook as informed by incoming data.
The Committee is maintaining its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities and of rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction, and it anticipates doing so until normalization of the level of the federal funds rate is well under way. This policy, by keeping the Committee’s holdings of longer-term securities at sizable levels, should help maintain accommodative financial conditions.
Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Janet L. Yellen, Chair; William C. Dudley, Vice Chairman; Lael Brainard; James Bullard; Stanley Fischer; Esther L. George; Loretta J. Mester; Jerome H. Powell; Eric Rosengren; and Daniel K. Tarullo. Voting against the action was Esther L. George, who preferred at this meeting to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 1/2 to 3/4 percent.
Source: The Federal Reserve