FOMC Cuts Fed Funds Rate a Quarter

10/31/2019 3:22 am EST

Focus: FUNDS

Daniel Collins

, MoneyShow.com

The Federal Reserve decided to cut rates as expected. Here is the text of the FOMC statement.

The Federal Reserve’s Open Markets Committee (FOMC) meeting resulted in a third consecutive 25-basis point rate cut as expected.

While the text of the Fed’s statement sounds more like a justification for a rate increase than a rate decrease, i.e. “the labor market remains strong and that economic activity has been rising at a moderate rate,” it justified the move this way: 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.

Voting against the cut were Esther L. George and Eric S. Rosengren, who preferred to leave rates unchanged. Both George and Rosengren also voted against the Sept. 18 rate cut.

Text of FOMC Statement:

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in September indicates that the labor market remains strong and that economic activity has been rising at a moderate rate. Job gains have been solid, on average, in recent months, and the unemployment rate has remained low. Although household spending has been rising at a strong pace, business fixed investment and exports remain weak. On a 12-month basis, overall inflation and inflation for items other than food and energy are running below 2 percent. Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed.

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 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 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. The Committee will continue to monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook as it assesses the appropriate path of the target range for the federal funds rate.

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 maximum employment objective and its symmetric 2 percent inflation objective. 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.

Voting for the monetary policy action were Jerome H. Powell, Chair; John C. Williams, Vice Chair; Michelle W. Bowman; Lael Brainard; James Bullard; Richard H. Clarida; Charles L. Evans; and Randal K. Quarles. Voting against this action were: Esther L. George and Eric S. Rosengren, who preferred at this meeting to maintain the target range at 1-3/4 percent to 2 percent.

Implementation Note issued October 30, 2019

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