The Federal Open Market Committee decided today to keep its target for the federal funds rate at 5-1/4 percent.
Recent indicators have been mixed and the adjustment in the housing sector is ongoing. Nevertheless, the economy seems likely to continue to expand at a moderate pace over coming quarters.
Recent readings on core inflation have been somewhat elevated. Although inflation pressures seem likely to moderate over time, the high level of resource utilization has the potential to sustain those pressures.
In these circumstances, the Committee's predominant policy concern remains the risk that inflation will fail to moderate as expected. Future policy adjustments will depend on the evolution of the outlook for both inflation and economic growth, as implied by incoming information.
Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Ben S. Bernanke, Chairman; Timothy F. Geithner, Vice Chairman; Thomas M. Hoenig; Donald L. Kohn; Randall S. Kroszner; Cathy E. Minehan; Frederic S. Mishkin; Michael H. Moskow; William Poole; and Kevin M. Warsh.
It seems the market really likes the last sentence about "future policy adjustments" being dependent on the outlook for both inflation and economic growth. The Fed seems to be acknowledging the economic slowdown and this will raise the hopes of those calling for rate cuts. I still expect the Fed to remain on hold for quite some time.