In an interesting move this week and true to the Fed plan to raise rates three times this year, Fed Chair Janet Yellen raised interest rates .25%. It’s worth it to note that at the same time, the Feds downgraded the forecast for inflation:
The central bank now believes inflation will fall well short of its 2 percent target this year. The post-meeting statement said inflation “has declined recently” even as household spending has “picked up in recent months,” the latter an upgrade from the May statement that said spending had “rose only modestly.” The statement also noted that inflation in the next 12 months “is expected to remain somewhat below 2 percent in the near term” but to stabilize.
At the same time, the Feds up the forecast for GDP growth slightly to 2.2%, up from a 2.1% forecast. They also anticipated a drop in unemployment as well, from 4.5% to 4.3%.
The Fed vote to go up a quarter-percent was not unanimous, however. “Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari on Friday said he voted against an interest-rate hike this week because he wasn’t convinced the recent spate of soft inflation readings was due to one-off factors…We should have waited to see if the recent drop in inflation is transitory to ensure that we are fulling our inflation mandate” to get inflation back to 2%, Kashkari said. Kashari was the only dissenting vote out of nine.
Earlier this year, the Federal Reserve tentatively planned three rate hikes in 2017 and three rate hikes in 2018. So far, they’ve completed two, and seem to want to stay on that track. Time will tell if this rate hike and pathway are good for the economy.