The Federal Reserve’s monetary policy setting committee, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), concluded its January meeting and released the standard post-meeting statement announcing the widely expected result of no change in the target for the benchmark short-term interest federal funds rate leaving it at 25-50 basis points. The committee recognized continuing progress in the labor market despite slower economic growth in the fourth quarter. Inflation continues to run below the 2% target with energy prices and non-energy import prices the culprits. Inflation is expected remain below target in the near term but return to 2% over the medium term.
The committee will continue to monitor domestic economic growth and labor market conditions, as well as global economic and financial developments closely in assessing the path of future rate increases. The pace of increases is expected to be gradual but will be dependent on incoming data reflecting ongoing progress in the recovery; faster improvement resulting in a faster pace of increases, slower improvement resulting in a slower pace of increases.