Fed Rate Decision December 2019

Fed Rate Decision December 2019

Fed Signals No Plans to Cut in 2020

The Federal Reserve left the target range for its federal funds rate unchanged at 1.5-1.75 percent on December 11th 2019 and signaled no plans to cut in 2020. The decision came in line with market expectations. Policymakers consider the current stance of monetary policy appropriate to support sustained growth, strong labor market conditions, and inflation near the 2% target.


The central bank kept its growth forecasts unchanged for this year at 2.2 percent; 2 percent for 2020; 1.9 percent for 2021; and 1.8 percent for 2022. Inflation is seen at 1.5 percent in 2019; 1.9 percent in 2020; 2 percent in 2021; and 2 percent in 2022; all unchanged from the September projection.

Regarding the fed funds rate, most participants expect no changes in 2020 although a hike is still seen in 2021. In the September projection, more participants expected a hike in 2020.

FOMC Statement:

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in October 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. The Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 percent. The Committee judges that the current stance of monetary policy is appropriate to support sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation near the Committee’s symmetric 2 percent objective. The Committee will continue to monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook, including global developments and muted inflation pressures, 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.