In today’s FOMC Statement the Fed says the labor market has strengthened, household spending is growing strongly, and economic activity is expanding at a moderate rate.

Supposedly, “near-term risks to the economic outlook have diminished”.

But “against this backdrop, the Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1/4 to 1/2 percent. The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting further improvement in labor market conditions and a return to 2 percent inflation.”

Stop Talking and Do It

Esther L. George, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City dissented. She preferred to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 1/2 to 3/4 percent today.

Ester George

Door Open for September?

The Wall Street Journal reports Fed Leaves Door Open to Move as Soon as September.

Fed Fund Futures for September

fedwatch 2016-07-26A

Fed Fund Futures for December

fedwatch 2016-07-26B

Why Didn’t the Fed Hike Today?

That’s easy. This Fed refuses to surprise the market. If the market doesn’t believe the Fed will hike, the Fed is highly unlikely to hike.

The door for September hikes is open only if the market agrees.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock