WASHINGTON (6/17/15)--The Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) policy statement, released at the conclusion of its two-day policy-setting meeting today, gave no indication as to when the central bank will raise short-term interest rates.
The closely watched “dot plot,” however, showed that the majority of committee members want to raise interest rates twice before the end of the year.
Fed officials didn’t specify an exact date, but the FOMC did say in its policy statement that economic activity has been expanding moderately on the heels of a weak first quarter.
The Fed has four more meetings scheduled for 2015, though analysts don’t expect to see a rate hike in July, as there is no press conference scheduled after the meeting (MarketWatch June 17).
Inflation, meanwhile, continues to fall below the Federal Reserve’s objective of 2%.
“Inflation is anticipated to remain near its recent low level in the near term, but the committee expects inflation to rise gradually toward 2% over the medium term as the labor market improves further and the transitory effects of earlier declines in energy and import prices dissipate,” the FOMC said in the statement.
Echoing previous statements, the Fed said that even after employment and inflation rise closer to “mandate-consistent levels,” economic conditions may continue to warrant holding interest rates below levels the FOMC deems normal.
The FOMC’s next meeting is scheduled for July 28-29.