June FOMC Announcement: Rate Hike and Balance Sheet Plans
June's FOMC meeting concluded today and the meeting announcement revealed an interest rate hike of .25% to bring the Federal Funds target to between 1 and 1.25%. Additionally, we also learned that the FOMC anticipates one more rate in 2017, 3 more in 2018, and the beginning of a balance sheet reduction effort starting this year. Of course, the balance sheet reduction is actually just a taper in the amount of reinvestment. Since they are simply slowing down how much in assets they are buying every month, the balance sheet will still be increasing.
There are still concerns at the FOMC (and in monetary officialdom in general) that the devaluation of our purchasing power (colloquially known as "inflation") is not occurring rapidly enough. From their own statistics, which exclude things most important to consumers such as food and energy, price inflation dipped a bit to 1.7%. This, of course, is an utter outrage to the experts.
We also got more specific detail about the balance sheet plan, which as we have said all year is going to be the primary narrative of the second half of 2017 in place of interest rate hike talks. Bloomberg reports: