United States Prime Rate

also known as the Fed, National or United States Prime Rate,
from the interest-rate specialists at www.FedPrimeRate.comSM

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

First FOMC Meeting of 2019 Adjourned: United States Prime Rate Continues At 5.50%

United States Prime Rate holds at 5.50%
U.S. Prime Rate
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve System has just adjourned its first monetary policy meeting of 2019 and, in accordance with our latest forecast, has voted to leave the benchmark target range for the federal funds rate at 2.25% - 2.50%. Therefore, the United States Prime Rate (a.k.a the Fed Prime Rate) will continue at the current 5.50%.

NB: U.S. Prime Rate = (The Fed Funds Target Rate + 3)

Here's a clip from today's FOMC press release (note text in bold):

"...Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in December indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising at a solid rate. Job gains have been strong, on average, in recent months, and the unemployment rate has remained low. Household spending has continued to grow strongly, while growth of business fixed investment has moderated from its rapid pace earlier last year. On a 12-month basis, both overall inflation and inflation for items other than food and energy remain near 2 percent. Although market-based measures of inflation compensation have moved lower in recent months, 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 support of these goals, the Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 percent. The Committee continues to view sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation near the Committee's symmetric 2 percent objective as the most likely outcomes. In light of global economic and financial developments and muted inflation pressures, the Committee will be patient as it determines what future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate may be appropriate to support these outcomes.


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 FOMC monetary policy action were: Jerome H. Powell, Chairman; John C. Williams, Vice Chairman; Michelle W. Bowman; Lael Brainard; James Bullard; Richard H. Clarida; Charles L. Evans; Esther L. George; Randal K. Quarles; and Eric S. Rosengren..."

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Thursday, November 08, 2018

Seventh FOMC Meeting of 2018 Adjourned: United States Prime Rate Continues At 5.25%

United States Prime Rate holds at 5.25%
U.S. Prime Rate
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve System has just adjourned its seventh monetary policy meeting of 2018 and, in accordance with our latest forecast, has voted to leave the benchmark target range for the federal funds rate at 2.00% - 2.25%. Therefore, the United States Prime Rate (a.k.a the Fed Prime Rate) will continue at the current 5.25%.

NB: U.S. Prime Rate = (The Fed Funds Target Rate + 3)

Here's a clip from today's FOMC press release (note text in bold):

"...Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in September indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising at a strong rate. Job gains have been strong, on average, in recent months, and the unemployment rate has declined. Household spending has continued to grow strongly, while growth of business fixed investment has moderated from its rapid pace earlier in the year. On a 12-month basis, both overall inflation and inflation for items other than food and energy remain near 2 percent. Indicators of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed, on balance.

Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. The Committee expects that further gradual increases in the target range for the federal funds rate will be consistent with sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation near the Committee's symmetric 2 percent objective over the medium term. Risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced.

In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 2 to 2-1/4 percent.

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 FOMC monetary policy action were: Jerome H. Powell, Chairman; John C. Williams, Vice Chairman; Thomas I. Barkin; Raphael W. Bostic; Lael Brainard; Richard H. Clarida; Mary C. Daly; Loretta J. Mester; and Randal K. Quarles..."

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Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Fifth FOMC Meeting of 2018 Adjourned: United States Prime Rate Continues At 5.00%

United States Prime Rate continues at 5.00%
U.S. Prime Rate
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve System has just adjourned its fifth monetary policy meeting of 2018 and, in accordance with our latest forecast, has voted to leave the benchmark target range for the federal funds rate at 1.75% - 2.00%. Therefore, the United States Prime Rate (a.k.a the Fed Prime Rate) will continue at the current 5.00%.

NB: U.S. Prime Rate = (The Fed Funds Target Rate + 3)

Here's a clip from today's FOMC press release (note text in bold):

"...Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in June indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising at a strong rate. Job gains have been strong, on average, in recent months, and the unemployment rate has stayed low. Household spending and business fixed investment have grown strongly. On a 12-month basis, both overall inflation and inflation for items other than food and energy remain near 2 percent. Indicators of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed, on balance.

Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. The Committee expects that further gradual increases in the target range for the federal funds rate will be consistent with sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation near the Committee's symmetric 2 percent objective over the medium term. Risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced.

In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1-3/4 to 2 percent. The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting strong labor market conditions and a sustained return to 2 percent inflation.

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 FOMC monetary policy action were: Jerome H. Powell, Chairman; John C. Williams, Vice Chairman; Thomas I. Barkin; Raphael W. Bostic; Lael Brainard; Esther L. George; Loretta J. Mester; and Randal K. Quarles..."

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Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Third FOMC Meeting of 2018 Adjourned: United States Prime Rate Continues At 4.75%

United States Prime Rate continues at 4.75%
U.S. Prime Rate
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve System has just adjourned its third monetary policy meeting of 2018 and, in accordance with our latest forecast, has voted to leave the benchmark target range for the federal funds rate at 1.50% - 1.75%. Therefore, the United States Prime Rate (a.k.a the Fed Prime Rate) will continue at the current 4.75%.

NB: U.S. Prime Rate = (The Fed Funds Target Rate + 3)

Here's a clip from today's FOMC press release (note text in bold):

"...Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in March indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising at a moderate rate. Job gains have been strong, on average, in recent months, and the unemployment rate has stayed low. Recent data suggest that growth of household spending moderated from its strong fourth-quarter pace, while business fixed investment continued to grow strongly. On a 12-month basis, both overall inflation and inflation for items other than food and energy have moved close to 2 percent. Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed, on balance.

Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. The Committee expects that, with further gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace in the medium term and labor market conditions will remain strong. Inflation on a 12-month basis is expected to run near the Committee's symmetric 2 percent objective over the medium term. Risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced.

In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 percent. The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting strong labor market conditions and a sustained return to 2 percent inflation.

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 objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation. 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. The Committee will carefully monitor actual and expected inflation developments relative to its symmetric inflation goal. The Committee expects that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant further gradual increases in the federal funds rate; the federal funds rate is likely to remain, for some time, below levels that are expected to prevail in the longer run. However, the actual path of the federal funds rate will depend on the economic outlook as informed by incoming data.

Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were Jerome H. Powell, Chairman; William C. Dudley, Vice Chairman; Thomas I. Barkin; Raphael W. Bostic; Lael Brainard; Loretta J. Mester; Randal K. Quarles; and John C. Williams..."

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

First FOMC Meeting of 2018 Adjourned: U.S. Prime Rate Holds At 4.5%

United States Prime Rate continues at 4.50%
U.S. Prime Rate
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve has just adjourned its first monetary policy meeting of 2018 and, in accordance with our forecast, has voted to leave the benchmark target range for the federal funds rate at 1.25% - 1.50%. Therefore, the United States Prime Rate (a.k.a the Fed Prime Rate) will continue at the current 4.50%.

NB: U.S. Prime Rate = (The Fed Funds Target Rate + 3)

Here's a clip from today's FOMC press release (note text in bold):

"...Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in December indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising at a solid rate. Gains in employment, household spending, and business fixed investment have been solid, and the unemployment rate has stayed low. On a 12-month basis, both overall inflation and inflation for items other than food and energy have continued to run below 2 percent. Market-based measures of inflation compensation have increased in recent months but remain low; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed, on balance.

Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. The Committee expects that, with further gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace and labor market conditions will remain strong. Inflation on a 12‑month basis is expected to move up this year and to stabilize around the Committee's 2 percent objective over the medium term. Near-term risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced, but the Committee is monitoring inflation developments closely.

In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1-1/4 to 1‑1/2 percent. The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting strong labor market conditions and a sustained return to 2 percent inflation.

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 objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation. 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. The Committee will carefully monitor actual and expected inflation developments relative to its symmetric inflation goal. The Committee expects that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant further gradual increases in the federal funds rate; the federal funds rate is likely to remain, for some time, below levels that are expected to prevail in the longer run. However, the actual path of the federal funds rate will depend on the economic outlook as informed by incoming data.

Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were Janet L. Yellen, Chair; William C. Dudley, Vice Chairman; Thomas I. Barkin; Raphael W. Bostic; Lael Brainard; Loretta J. Mester; Jerome H. Powell; Randal K. Quarles; and John C. Williams..."

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Thursday, November 02, 2017

Donald Trump Nominates Jerome Powell To Be Next Fed Chair

Donald Trump Nominates Jerome Powell To Be Next Fed Chair
Jerome Powell
Here's a clip from today's press release:

"...Thank you, Mr. President, for the faith you have shown in me through this nomination. I am both honored and humbled by this opportunity to serve our great country. If I am confirmed by the Senate, I will do everything within my power to achieve the goals assigned to the Federal Reserve by the Congress: stable prices and maximum employment.

I want to thank my wife, Elissa, for her love, support, and wise counsel. Without her, I would not be standing here. We are thinking today of our three children, and of the world they are inheriting. My five siblings and I are also thinking today of our parents, who gave us so many gifts, most of all a loving home.

In the years since the global financial crisis ended, our economy has made substantial progress toward full recovery. By many measures we are close to full employment, and inflation has gradually moved up toward our target.

Our financial system is without doubt far stronger and more resilient than it was before the crisis. Our banks have much higher capital and liquidity, are more aware of the risks they run, and are better able to manage those risks. While post-crisis improvements in regulation and supervision have helped us to achieve these gains, I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure that the Federal Reserve remains vigilant and prepared to respond to changes in markets and evolving risks.

Finally, I have had the great privilege of serving under Chairman Bernanke and Chair Yellen, who guided the economy with insight and courage through difficult times while moving monetary policy toward greater transparency and predictability. Each of them embodies the highest ideals of public service--unquestioned integrity and unflinching commitment to fulfilling our mandate. Inside the Federal Reserve, we understand that monetary policy decisions matter for American families and communities. I strongly share that sense of mission and am committed to making decisions with objectivity and based on the best available evidence, in the longstanding tradition of monetary policy independence.

Mr. President, thank you again for this extraordinary opportunity to serve the American people..."

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Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Seventh FOMC Meeting of 2017 Adjourned: U.S. Prime Rate Holds At 4.25%

United States Prime Rate continues at 4.25%
U.S. Prime Rate
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve has just adjourned its seventh monetary policy meeting of 2017 and, in accordance with our forecast, has voted to leave the benchmark target range for the federal funds rate at 1.00% - 1.25%. Therefore, the United States Prime Rate (a.k.a the Fed Prime Rate) will continue at the current 4.25%.

NB: U.S. Prime Rate = (The Fed Funds Target Rate + 3)

Here's a clip from today's FOMC press release (note text in bold):

"...Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in September indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising at a solid rate despite hurricane-related disruptions. Although the hurricanes caused a drop in payroll employment in September, the unemployment rate declined further. Household spending has been expanding at a moderate rate, and growth in business fixed investment has picked up in recent quarters. Gasoline prices rose in the aftermath of the hurricanes, boosting overall inflation in September; however, inflation for items other than food and energy remained soft. On a 12-month basis, both inflation measures have declined this year and are running below 2 percent. Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed, on balance.

Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. Hurricane-related disruptions and rebuilding will continue to affect economic activity, employment, and inflation in the near term, but past experience suggests that the storms are unlikely to materially alter the course of the national economy over the medium term. Consequently, the Committee continues to expect that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace, and labor market conditions will strengthen somewhat further. Inflation on a 12-month basis is expected to remain somewhat below 2 percent in the near term but to stabilize around the Committee's 2 percent objective over the medium term. Near-term risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced, but the Committee is monitoring inflation developments closely.

In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1 to 1-1/4 percent. The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting some further strengthening in labor market conditions and a sustained return to 2 percent inflation.

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 objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation. 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. The Committee will carefully monitor actual and expected inflation developments relative to its symmetric inflation goal. The Committee expects that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant gradual increases in the federal funds rate; the federal funds rate is likely to remain, for some time, below levels that are expected to prevail in the longer run. However, the actual path of the federal funds rate will depend on the economic outlook as informed by incoming data.

The balance sheet normalization program initiated in October 2017 is proceeding.

Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Janet L. Yellen, Chair; William C. Dudley, Vice Chairman; Lael Brainard; Charles L. Evans; Patrick Harker; Robert S. Kaplan; Neel Kashkari; Jerome H. Powell; and Randal K. Quarles..."

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Sixth FOMC Meeting of 2017 Adjourned: U.S. Prime Rate Remains At 4.25%

United States Prime Rate holds at 4.25%
U.S. Prime Rate
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve has just adjourned its sixth monetary policy meeting of 2017 and, in accordance with our most recent forecast, has voted to leave the benchmark target range for the federal funds rate at 1.00% - 1.25%. Therefore, the United States Prime Rate (a.k.a the Fed Prime Rate) will continue at the current 4.25%.

NB: U.S. Prime Rate = (The Fed Funds Target Rate + 3)

Here's a clip from today's FOMC press release (note text in bold):

"...Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in July indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising moderately so far this year. Job gains have remained solid in recent months, and the unemployment rate has stayed low. Household spending has been expanding at a moderate rate, and growth in business fixed investment has picked up in recent quarters. On a 12-month basis, overall inflation and the measure excluding food and energy prices have declined this year and are running below 2 percent. Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed, on balance.

Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria have devastated many communities, inflicting severe hardship. Storm-related disruptions and rebuilding will affect economic activity in the near term, but past experience suggests that the storms are unlikely to materially alter the course of the national economy over the medium term. Consequently, the Committee continues to expect that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace, and labor market conditions will strengthen somewhat further. Higher prices for gasoline and some other items in the aftermath of the hurricanes will likely boost inflation temporarily; apart from that effect, inflation on a 12-month basis is expected to remain somewhat below 2 percent in the near term but to stabilize around the Committee's 2 percent objective over the medium term. Near-term risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced, but the Committee is monitoring inflation developments closely.

In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1 to 1-1/4 percent. The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting some further strengthening in labor market conditions and a sustained return to 2 percent inflation.

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 objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation. 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. The Committee will carefully monitor actual and expected inflation developments relative to its symmetric inflation goal. The Committee expects that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant gradual increases in the federal funds rate; the federal funds rate is likely to remain, for some time, below levels that are expected to prevail in the longer run. However, the actual path of the federal funds rate will depend on the economic outlook as informed by incoming data.

In October, the Committee will initiate the balance sheet normalization program described in the June 2017 Addendum to the Committee's Policy Normalization Principles and Plans.

Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Janet L. Yellen, Chair; William C. Dudley, Vice Chairman; Lael Brainard; Charles L. Evans; Stanley Fischer; Patrick Harker; Robert S. Kaplan; Neel Kashkari; and Jerome H. Powell..."

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Fifth FOMC Meeting of 2017 Adjourned: U.S. Prime Rate Holds At 4.25%

United States Prime Rate holds at 4.25%
U.S. Prime Rate
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve has just adjourned its fifth monetary policy meeting of 2017 and, in accordance with our most recent forecast, has voted to leave the benchmark target range for the federal funds rate at 1.00% - 1.25%. Therefore, the United States Prime Rate (a.k.a the Fed Prime Rate) will continue at the current 4.25%.

NB: U.S. Prime Rate = (The Fed Funds Target Rate + 3)

Here's a clip from today's FOMC press release (note text in bold):

"...Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in June indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising moderately so far this year. Job gains have been solid, on average, since the beginning of the year, and the unemployment rate has declined. Household spending and business fixed investment have continued to expand. On a 12-month basis, overall inflation and the measure excluding food and energy prices have declined and are running below 2 percent. Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed, on balance.

Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. The Committee continues to expect that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace, and labor market conditions will strengthen somewhat further. Inflation on a 12-month basis is expected to remain somewhat below 2 percent in the near term but to stabilize around the Committee's 2 percent objective over the medium term. Near-term risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced, but the Committee is monitoring inflation developments closely.

In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1 to 1-1/4 percent. The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting some further strengthening in labor market conditions and a sustained return to 2 percent inflation.

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 objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation. 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. The Committee will carefully monitor actual and expected inflation developments relative to its symmetric inflation goal. The Committee expects that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant gradual increases in the federal funds rate; the federal funds rate is likely to remain, for some time, below levels that are expected to prevail in the longer run. However, the actual path of the federal funds rate will depend on the economic outlook as informed by incoming data.

For the time being, the Committee is maintaining its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities and of rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction. The Committee expects to begin implementing its balance sheet normalization program relatively soon, provided that the economy evolves broadly as anticipated; this program is described in the June 2017 Addendum to the Committee's Policy Normalization Principles and Plans.

Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Janet L. Yellen, Chair; William C. Dudley, Vice Chairman; Lael Brainard; Charles L. Evans; Stanley Fischer; Patrick Harker; Robert S. Kaplan; Neel Kashkari; and Jerome H. Powell..."

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Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Third FOMC Meeting of 2017 Adjourned: U.S. Prime Rate Holds At 4.00%

United States Prime Rate remains at 4.00%
U.S. Prime Rate
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve has just adjourned its third monetary policy meeting of 2017 and, in accordance with our most recent forecast, has voted to leave the benchmark target range for the federal funds rate at 0.75% - 1.00%. Therefore, the United States Prime Rate (a.k.a the Fed Prime Rate) will continue at the current 4.00%.

NB: U.S. Prime Rate = (The Fed Funds Target Rate + 3)

Here's a clip from today's FOMC press release (note text in bold):

"...Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in March indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen even as growth in economic activity slowed. Job gains were solid, on average, in recent months, and the unemployment rate declined. Household spending rose only modestly, but the fundamentals underpinning the continued growth of consumption remained solid. Business fixed investment firmed. Inflation measured on a 12-month basis recently has been running close to the Committee's 2 percent longer-run objective. Excluding energy and food, consumer prices declined in March and inflation continued to run somewhat below 2 percent. Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed, on balance.

Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. The Committee views the slowing in growth during the first quarter as likely to be transitory and continues to expect that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace, labor market conditions will strengthen somewhat further, and inflation will stabilize around 2 percent over the medium term. Near-term risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced. The Committee continues to closely monitor inflation indicators and global economic and financial developments.

In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 3/4 to 1 percent. The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting some further strengthening in labor market conditions and a sustained return to 2 percent inflation.

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 objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation. 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. The Committee will carefully monitor actual and expected inflation developments relative to its symmetric inflation goal. The Committee expects that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant gradual increases in the federal funds rate; the federal funds rate is likely to remain, for some time, below levels that are expected to prevail in the longer run. However, the actual path of the federal funds rate will depend on the economic outlook as informed by incoming data.

The Committee is maintaining its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities and of rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction, and it anticipates doing so until normalization of the level of the federal funds rate is well under way. This policy, by keeping the Committee's holdings of longer-term securities at sizable levels, should help maintain accommodative financial conditions.

Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Janet L. Yellen, Chair; William C. Dudley, Vice Chairman; Lael Brainard; Charles L. Evans; Stanley Fischer; Patrick Harker; Robert S. Kaplan; Neel Kashkari; and Jerome H. Powell..."

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Wednesday, February 01, 2017

First FOMC Meeting of 2017 Adjourned: U.S. Prime Rate Holds At 3.75%

United States Prime Rate remains at 3.75%
Prime Rate
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve has just adjourned its first monetary policy meeting of 2017 and, in accordance with our most recent forecast, has voted to leave the benchmark target range for the federal funds rate at 0.50% - 0.75%. Therefore, the United States Prime Rate (a.k.a the Fed Prime Rate) will continue at the current 3.75%, which went into effect on December 15, 2016.

NB: U.S. Prime Rate = (The Fed Funds Target Rate + 3)

Here's a clip from today's FOMC press release (note text in bold):

"...Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in December indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has continued to expand at a moderate pace. Job gains remained solid and the unemployment rate stayed near its recent low. Household spending has continued to rise moderately while business fixed investment has remained soft. Measures of consumer and business sentiment have improved of late. Inflation increased in recent quarters but is still below the Committee's 2 percent longer-run objective. Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; most survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed, on balance.

Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. The Committee expects that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace, labor market conditions will strengthen somewhat further, and inflation will rise to 2 percent over the medium term. Near-term risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced. The Committee continues to closely monitor inflation indicators and global economic and financial developments.

In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1/2 to 3/4 percent. The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting some further strengthening in labor market conditions and a return to 2 percent inflation.

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 objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation. 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. In light of the current shortfall of inflation from 2 percent, the Committee will carefully monitor actual and expected progress toward its inflation goal. The Committee expects that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant only gradual increases in the federal funds rate; the federal funds rate is likely to remain, for some time, below levels that are expected to prevail in the longer run. However, the actual path of the federal funds rate will depend on the economic outlook as informed by incoming data.

The Committee is maintaining its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities and of rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction, and it anticipates doing so until normalization of the level of the federal funds rate is well under way. This policy, by keeping the Committee's holdings of longer-term securities at sizable levels, should help maintain accommodative financial conditions.

Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Janet L. Yellen, Chair; William C. Dudley, Vice Chairman; Lael Brainard; Charles L. Evans; Stanley Fischer; Patrick Harker; Robert S. Kaplan; Neel Kashkari; Jerome H. Powell; and Daniel K. Tarullo..."

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Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Seventh FOMC Meeting of 2016 Adjourned: U.S. Prime Rate Remains At 3.5%

FOMC votes to leave short-term rates unchanged; Fed Prime Rate remains at 3.5%
U.S. Prime Rate
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve has just adjourned its seventh monetary policy meeting of 2016 and, in accordance with our most recent forecast, has voted to leave short-term interest rates at their current levels. Therefore, the benchmark target range for the federal funds rate will remain at 0.25% - 0.5%, and the United States Prime Rate (a.k.a the National or Fed Prime Rate) will continue at the current 3.5%.

Here's a clip from today's FOMC press release (note text in bold):

"...Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in September indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and growth of economic activity has picked up from the modest pace seen in the first half of this year. Although the unemployment rate is little changed in recent months, job gains have been solid. Household spending has been rising moderately but business fixed investment has remained soft. Inflation has increased somewhat since earlier this year but is still below the Committee's 2 percent longer-run objective, partly reflecting earlier declines in energy prices and in prices of non-energy imports. Market-based measures of inflation compensation have moved up but remain low; most survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed, on balance, in recent months.

Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. The Committee expects that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace and labor market conditions will strengthen somewhat further. Inflation is expected to rise to 2 percent over the medium term as the transitory effects of past declines in energy and import prices dissipate and the labor market strengthens further. Near-term risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced. The Committee continues to closely monitor inflation indicators and global economic and financial developments.

Against this backdrop, the Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1/4 to 1/2 percent. The Committee judges that the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has continued to strengthen but decided, for the time being, to wait for some further evidence of continued progress toward its objectives. The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting further improvement in labor market conditions and a return to 2 percent inflation.

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 objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation. 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. In light of the current shortfall of inflation from 2 percent, the Committee will carefully monitor actual and expected progress toward its inflation goal. The Committee expects that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant only gradual increases in the federal funds rate; the federal funds rate is likely to remain, for some time, below levels that are expected to prevail in the longer run. However, the actual path of the federal funds rate will depend on the economic outlook as informed by incoming data.

The Committee is maintaining its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities and of rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction, and it anticipates doing so until normalization of the level of the federal funds rate is well under way. This policy, by keeping the Committee's holdings of longer-term securities at sizable levels, should help maintain accommodative financial conditions.

Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Janet L. Yellen, Chair; William C. Dudley, Vice Chairman; Lael Brainard; James Bullard; Stanley Fischer; Jerome H. Powell; Eric Rosengren; and Daniel K. Tarullo. Voting against the action were: Esther L. George and Loretta J. Mester, each of whom preferred at this meeting to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 1/2 to 3/4 percent..."

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Sixth FOMC Meeting of 2016 Adjourned: U.S. Prime Rate Continues At 3.5%

FOMC votes to leave short-term rates unchanged; US Prime Rate to continue at 3.5%
U.S. Prime Rate
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve has just adjourned its sixth monetary policy meeting of 2016 and, in accordance with our most recent forecast, has voted to leave short-term interest rates at their current levels. Therefore, the benchmark target range for the federal funds rate will remain at 0.25% - 0.5%, and the United States Prime Rate (a.k.a the National or Fed Prime Rate) will continue at the current 3.5%.

Here's a clip from today's FOMC press release (note text in bold):

"...Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in July indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and growth of economic activity has picked up from the modest pace seen in the first half of this year. Although the unemployment rate is little changed in recent months, job gains have been solid, on average. Household spending has been growing strongly but business fixed investment has remained soft. Inflation has continued to run below the Committee's 2 percent longer-run objective, partly reflecting earlier declines in energy prices and in prices of non-energy imports. Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; most survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed, on balance, in recent months.

Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. The Committee expects that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace and labor market conditions will strengthen somewhat further. Inflation is expected to remain low in the near term, in part because of earlier declines in energy prices, but to rise to 2 percent over the medium term as the transitory effects of past declines in energy and import prices dissipate and the labor market strengthens further. Near-term risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced. The Committee continues to closely monitor inflation indicators and global economic and financial developments.

Against this backdrop, the Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1/4 to 1/2 percent. The Committee judges that the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has strengthened but decided, for the time being, to wait for further evidence of continued progress toward its objectives. The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting further improvement in labor market conditions and a return to 2 percent inflation.

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 objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation. 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. In light of the current shortfall of inflation from 2 percent, the Committee will carefully monitor actual and expected progress toward its inflation goal. The Committee expects that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant only gradual increases in the federal funds rate; the federal funds rate is likely to remain, for some time, below levels that are expected to prevail in the longer run. However, the actual path of the federal funds rate will depend on the economic outlook as informed by incoming data.

The Committee is maintaining its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities and of rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction, and it anticipates doing so until normalization of the level of the federal funds rate is well under way. This policy, by keeping the Committee's holdings of longer-term securities at sizable levels, should help maintain accommodative financial conditions.

Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Janet L. Yellen, Chair; William C. Dudley, Vice Chairman; Lael Brainard; James Bullard; Stanley Fischer; Jerome H. Powell; and Daniel K. Tarullo. Voting against the action were: Esther L. George, Loretta J. Mester, and Eric Rosengren, each of whom preferred at this meeting to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 1/2 to 3/4 percent..."


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Monday, January 26, 2015

2015 Prime Rate Forecast: Current Odds On Rate Increase for October At 64%

Prime Rate Forecast - Predictions - www.FedPrimeRate.com
Prime Rate Forecast - Predictions
Yep, borrowers, and those with debt, have been enjoying the lowest possible US Prime Rate (3.25%) since December 2008, the peak of the global financial crisis.

A rather secular stretch for sure.

But it looks like the Fed is going to end the super-low-interest-rate party in the fall of this year.

Current odds that the Fed will raise the Prime Rate to at least 3.5% at the October 28 FOMC monetary policy meeting are at 64%, with odds of it happening at the December 16 meeting at 75%.

Hard to Stoke Inflation with Low Oil Prices

Right now, WTI light sweet crude oil, for future delivery, is trading at $45.15 per barrel in New York.  It was $97.49 on January 31, 2014.

Great news for most of us, but there are many on Wall Street who are not happy with this.

Wall Street wants short-term interest rates, and inflation, to rise, and reasonable energy prices throws a heavy spanner into the Fed's reflation works.

The Fed wants inflation at 2%, but with current energy prices, the FOMC may have to wait longer than anticipated to attain that inflation goal.

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Venezuela is hating current crude prices.  Their crude-oil-entitlement economy is extremely entrenched, and the government would have institute major reforms to fix that culture (not likely!)


The Saudis, on the other hand,  are happy that oil is cheap.  Saudi King Abdullah died recently, but his successor will continue with his policy of keeping production high, despite a global glut.

Smart.  Why?  When crude was $100+ per barrel, America responded with fracking, buying efficient cars like turbo-diesels, hybrids and full electrics, and a general desire to reduce drastically dependence on foreign oil.  Not good for the Saudi oil economy, in the long term.  The Saudi want us to return to driving Hummers and Ford Expeditions.

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Is Janet Yellen Strong Enough to Resist Wall Street?

Back in mid-2011, when the European Central Bank (ECB), under the leadership of Jean-Claude Trichet, made the huge mistake of raising short-term rates in the eurozone before an economic recovery was solid -- BANG!  The unemployment rate in the euro area shot up like a rocket.  Believe it!


If Fed boss Dr. Janet Yellen makes the same mistake and starts raising rates here while many middle-class, American households are still dealing with the affects of the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent Great Recession, watch how quickly our fragile economic recovery goes BOOM here too.

Current ECB boss Dr. Mario Draghi just sent a clear message to the world by instituting a massive quantitative easing program (printing money out of thin air and using it to buy debt): The euro area is in really bad economic shape, and needs very serious help to stave off deflation.

This, of course, caused the euro to fall against the dollar, making goods produced in the eurozone more competitive here in the USA.  This translates to downward pressure on American Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and jobs.

Hope you have the right priorities Dr. Yellen...Really hope.

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Summary of the Latest Prime Rate Forecast:


As of right now, the investors who trade in fed funds futures at the CME Group have odds at 64% (as implied by current pricing on contracts) that the FOMC will vote to raise the benchmark Federal Funds Target Rate by at least 25 basis points (0.25 percentage point) at the October 28TH, 2015 monetary policy meeting.

  • Current odds that the Prime Rate will rise by at least 25 basis points at the July 29TH, 2015 FOMC monetary policy meeting: 31%
  • Current odds that the Prime Rate will rise by at least 25 basis points at the September 17TH, 2015 FOMC monetary policy meeting: 44%
  • Current odds that the Prime Rate will rise by at least 25 basis points at the December 16TH, 2015 FOMC monetary policy meeting: 75%
  • NB: US Prime Rate = (The Federal Funds Target Rate + 3)


The odds related to federal-funds futures contracts -- widely accepted as the best predictor of where the FOMC will take the benchmark Fed Funds Target Rate -- are constantly changing, so stay tuned for the latest odds.

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