It Looks Like The Fed Has No Idea What’s About To Happen

The Federal Reserve has released its latest monetary policy decision. Mostly it was a non event, as the Fed is not indicating a quicker pace of rate hikes, despite improving unemployment and inflation data.

The Fed kept interest rates between 0% and 0.25%, and took another $US10 billion off its monthly asset purchases.

The Fed also released its latest Summary of Economic Projections, which includes an updated version of its “Dot Plot,” and it looks like the FOMC has no idea where interest rates are going.

The Dot Plot shows what various members of the FOMC are predicting for the path of future rate hikes. It’s a forecast.

The latest version of its Dot Plot shows an even wider dispersion among where FOMC members believe interest rates will be, both at the end of the next three years and over the longer run. In other words, there’s no consensus about what’s going to happen with interest rates. It’s anyone’s guess.

Here’s the latest Dot Plot, followed by the previous Dot Plot from March.

Fed June Dots
March Dot Plot

The projections for interest rates at the end of this year remain unchanged.

But at least one FOMC member now sees interest rates at the end of 2015 at each rate between 0.25% and 2.25%.

Interest rate projections for the end of 2016 are now in a slightly wider range, as the lowest expectation for year-end interest rates moves to 0.5% from 0.75%.

As Tom Diagloma of ED&F Man Capital said following the decision, “No real change to the statement but some disagreement about the DOTS.”

The updated Dot Plot also shows that over the longer run, FOMC members see interest rates just below 4%, lower than where they had previously seen rates.