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Economy in Brief

FOMC Leaves Interest Rates Unchanged and Lowers Expected Growth
by Tom Moeller  March 20, 2019

The Federal Open Market Committee voted unanimously at today's meeting to leave the federal funds rate target in a range between 2.25% and 2.50%. The action was expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. It was indicated at the meeting that no further increases in interest rates were likely this year.

The Fed observed that economic activity had slowed from late-last year due to weaker growth in both household and business spending.

On the pricing front, inflation was noted to have cooled due to lower energy costs and stable 2% growth in prices elsewhere.

The Fed released updated projections for economic activity at this meeting. It lowered expected four-quarter growth in real GDP to 2.1% in 2019, 1.9% in 2020 and 1.8% in 2021 from 2.3%, 2.0% and 1.8%, expected earlier. Core PCE price inflation was unchanged at 2.0% during the next three years. The expected unemployment rate was raised to 3.7% in the fourth quarter of 2019, 3.8% at yearend 2020 and 3.9% at yearend 2021 from 3.5%, 3.6% and 3.8%, respectively.

The press release for today's FOMC meeting can be found here.

Current Last 2018 2017 2016 2015
Federal Funds Rate Target 2.25% - 2.50% 2.25% - 2.50% 1.82% 1.00% 0.40% 0.13
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