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Wednesday, January 03, 2024

FOMC Minutes: "A lower target range for the federal funds rate would be appropriate by the end of 2024"

by Calculated Risk on 1/03/2024 02:00:00 PM

From the Fed: Minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee, December 12-13, 2023. Excerpt:

In discussing the policy outlook, participants viewed the policy rate as likely at or near its peak for this tightening cycle, though they noted that the actual policy path will depend on how the economy evolves. Participants pointed to the decline in inflation seen during 2023, noting the recent shift down in six-month inflation readings in particular, and to growing signs of demand and supply coming into better balance in product and labor markets as informing that view. Several participants remarked that the Committee's past policy actions were having their intended effect of helping to slow the growth of aggregate demand and cool labor market conditions. They judged that, in combination with improvements in the supply situation, these developments were helping to bring inflation back to 2 percent over time. Most participants noted that, as indicated in their submissions to the SEP, they expected the Committee's restrictive policy stance to continue to soften household and business spending, helping to promote further reductions in inflation over the next few years.

In their submitted projections, almost all participants indicated that, reflecting the improvements in their inflation outlooks, their baseline projections implied that a lower target range for the federal funds rate would be appropriate by the end of 2024. Participants also noted, however, that their outlooks were associated with an unusually elevated degree of uncertainty and that it was possible that the economy could evolve in a manner that would make further increases in the target range appropriate. Several also observed that circumstances might warrant keeping the target range at its current value for longer than they currently anticipated. Participants generally stressed the importance of maintaining a careful and data-dependent approach to making monetary policy decisions and reaffirmed that it would be appropriate for policy to remain at a restrictive stance for some time until inflation was clearly moving down sustainably toward the Committee's objective.
emphasis added