The Federal Reserve raised the Fed Funds Rate 1/2 point at the conclusion of their FOMC meeting today. The rate will now be a target range of 0.75% to 1.00% effective tomorrow.
Banks are expected to raise the Prime Rate to 4.00% effective tomorrow.
The Federal Reserve will also begin reducing its holdings of mortgage and treasury securities beginning in June. This tapering of its balance sheet will be eased into over the summer, with mortgage securities it holds being reduced by $17.5 billion per month and treasury securities reduced by $30 billion per month. Starting in September, they expect to reduce mortgage securities by $35 billion per month and treasury securities by $60 billion per month.
May 04, 2022
Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement
For release at 2:00 p.m. EDT
Although overall economic activity edged down in the first quarter, household spending and business fixed investment remained strong. Job gains have been robust in recent months, and the unemployment rate has declined substantially. Inflation remains elevated, reflecting supply and demand imbalances related to the pandemic, higher energy prices, and broader price pressures.
The invasion of Ukraine by Russia is causing tremendous human and economic hardship. The implications for the U.S. economy are highly uncertain. The invasion and related events are creating additional upward pressure on inflation and are likely to weigh on economic activity. In addition, COVID-related lockdowns in China are likely to exacerbate supply chain disruptions. The Committee is highly attentive to inflation risks.
The Committee seeks to achieve maximum employment and inflation at the rate of 2 percent over the longer run. With appropriate firming in the stance of monetary policy, the Committee expects inflation to return to its 2 percent objective and the labor market to remain strong. In support of these goals, the Committee decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 3/4 to 1 percent and anticipates that ongoing increases in the target range will be appropriate. In addition, the Committee decided to begin reducing its holdings of Treasury securities and agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities on June 1, as described in the Plans for Reducing the Size of the Federal Reserve’s Balance Sheet that were issued in conjunction with this statement.
In assessing the appropriate stance of monetary policy, the Committee will continue to monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook. The Committee would be prepared to adjust the stance of monetary policy as appropriate if risks emerge that could impede the attainment of the Committee’s goals. The Committee’s assessments will take into account a wide range of information, including readings on public health, labor market conditions, inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and 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; Esther L. George; Patrick Harker; Loretta J. Mester; and Christopher J. Waller. Patrick Harker voted as an alternate member at this meeting.
May 04, 2022
Plans for Reducing the Size of the Federal Reserve’s Balance Sheet
For release at 2:00 p.m. EDT
Consistent with the Principles for Reducing the Size of the Federal Reserve’s Balance Sheet that were issued in January 2022, all Committee participants agreed to the following plans for significantly reducing the Federal Reserve’s securities holdings.
The Committee intends to reduce the Federal Reserve’s securities holdings over time in a predictable manner primarily by adjusting the amounts reinvested of principal payments received from securities held in the System Open Market Account (SOMA). Beginning on June 1, principal payments from securities held in the SOMA will be reinvested to the extent that they exceed monthly caps.
For Treasury securities, the cap will initially be set at $30 billion per month and after three months will increase to $60 billion per month. The decline in holdings of Treasury securities under this monthly cap will include Treasury coupon securities and, to the extent that coupon maturities are less than the monthly cap, Treasury bills.
For agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities, the cap will initially be set at $17.5 billion per month and after three months will increase to $35 billion per month.
Over time, the Committee intends to maintain securities holdings in amounts needed to implement monetary policy efficiently and effectively in its ample reserves regime.
To ensure a smooth transition, the Committee intends to slow and then stop the decline in the size of the balance sheet when reserve balances are somewhat above the level it judges to be consistent with ample reserves.
Once balance sheet runoff has ceased, reserve balances will likely continue to decline for a time, reflecting growth in other Federal Reserve liabilities, until the Committee judges that reserve balances are at an ample level.
Thereafter, the Committee will manage securities holdings as needed to maintain ample reserves over time.
The Committee is prepared to adjust any of the details of its approach to reducing the size of the balance sheet in light of economic and financial developments.