Fed Cuts Rates 1/4 Percent, Three Dissents: Dot Plot Suggests No More 2019 Cuts

-edited

The Fed cut interest rates 25 basis point to a target of 1.75% to 2.00%. There were three dissents.

Dot Plot and FOMC Statement

The Dot Plot is from Projection Materials. Here is an excerpt from the full FOMC Statement

Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. In light of the implications of global developments for the economic outlook as well as muted inflation pressures, the Committee decided to lower the target range for the federal funds rate to 1-3/4 to 2 percent. This action supports the Committee's view that sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation near the Committee's symmetric 2 percent objective are the most likely outcomes, but uncertainties about this outlook remain. As the Committee contemplates the future path of the target range for the federal funds rate, it will continue to monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook and will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion, with a strong labor market and inflation near its symmetric 2 percent objective.

Three Dissents

  • Voting against the action were James Bullard, who preferred at this meeting to lower the target range for the federal funds rate to 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 percent
  • Esther L. George and Eric S. Rosengren preferred to maintain the target range at 2 percent to 2-1/4 percent.

Tapering and Balance Sheet Reduction Still On Hold

The Committee directs the Desk to continue rolling over at auction all principal payments from the Federal Reserve’s holdings of Treasury securities and to continue reinvesting all principal payments from the Federal Reserve’s holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities received during each calendar month. Principal payments from agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities up to $20 billion per month will continue to be reinvested in Treasury securities to roughly match the maturity composition of Treasury securities outstanding; principal payments in excess of $20 billion per month will continue to be reinvested in agency mortgage-backed securities.

Interest on Excess Reserves Lowered

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System voted unanimously to lower the interest rate paid on required and excess reserve balances to 1.80 percent, effective September 19, 2019. Setting the interest rate paid on required and excess reserve balances 20 basis points below the top of the target range for the federal funds rate is intended to foster trading in the federal funds market at rates well within the FOMC’s target range.

Statement Tracker

Three Fed Changes

The WSJ Statement Tracker shows three changes.

  • Household spending went from "growth picked up" to "rising at a strong pace".
  • Business investment went from soft to "weakened"
  • Exports are a new item. Exports "weakened".

Observations

Fed Discusses More QE

Expect More Cuts

I side with those who expect more rate cuts.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (14)
No. 1-7
Sechel
Sechel

They split the baby. I don't see the justification and will feel this was to get Trump off their backs. There is no current sign of weakness just some indicators pointing to the possibility of future weakness

Latkes
Latkes

USD up, gold down...

Schaap60
Schaap60

Is Bullard angling for the top job if Powell is forced out?

Carlos_
Carlos_

Ha! Powell just pull a Draghi and said it is all about fiscal policy and not monetary policy to get growth

Country Bob
Country Bob

Stealing from economically healthy savers in order to subsidize zombie banks and zombie corporations is going to result in continued slow economic growth.

Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett

Powell should know better than drawing lines in the sand.

"I do not think we'd be looking at using negative rates"

Especially after Greenspan and LaGarde gave blessing.

As one who believes Federal Reserve follows rather than leads ... it will look unseemly as Powell chases rates down down down.

Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett

In bondland, today's winner - 30 yr.