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FOMC Meeting Insights: Rate Cuts Will Likely Be Delayed
Global Markets

FOMC Meeting Insights: Rate Cuts Will Likely Be Delayed

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Yesterday’s FOMC notes brought more uncertainty to the markets, along with lowered expectations of rate cuts in 2024.

Yesterday’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting minutes shed light on some significant shifts in financial markets and strategic monetary policy considerations. A key focus of the meeting was adjusting market expectations for the federal funds rate. This shift was largely attributed to stronger economic data and a reevaluation of disinflation. As a result, some analysts anticipate policy rate cuts to begin later in the year. Not surprisingly, there is now an increased fear that rate cuts may not happen at all until 2025.

Balance Sheet Policy Deliberations

There was an in-depth discussion about slowing the pace of balance sheet reductions, which essentially removes money from the economy. The members acknowledged the smooth execution of runoff but recognized the need for caution. The consensus leaned towards slowing down the pace of runoff soon to facilitate a smooth transition from abundant to ample reserve balances.

Members hope this approach will mitigate potential stresses in money markets that arise from rapid declines in reserve balances. Analysts expect that a measured reduction in the Federal Reserve’s securities holdings is consistent with reaching an ample level of reserves.

Economic Projections and Monetary Policy Outlook

The economic outlook presented by the FOMC anticipates continued GDP growth, with inflation expected to gradually align with the 2% target. Despite recent hotter-than-expected inflation readings, the Committee remains committed to returning inflation to its objective. Most participants believe the policy rate is at its peak for this tightening cycle. The discussion highlighted the potential for adjusting policy to a less restrictive stance within the year. However, this is contingent on gaining greater confidence that inflation is on a sustainable path toward the target.

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