On Wednesday, June 15, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) raised the federal funds rate by 75 basis points (bps; 100 bps equal 1.00%) to a new range of 1.50%‒1.75% by a vote of 10-1—an outcome that was very far from consensus as recently as Friday, June 10.
On May 4, the Federal Open Market Committee is expected to announce a 50-basis-point (bp; 100 bps equal 1.00%)—0.50%—increase in its target for the federal funds rate. It’s also likely to announce it will start shrinking its balance sheet. What will the balance-sheet reduction look like, and what might it mean?
The Federal Reserve (Fed) and the money markets seem to agree that it’s time for the Fed to shore up its inflation-fighting credentials. As economic data continued to come in hot over the past few months — showing a tight labor market and inflation not seen for generations — the prospect of accommodation removal in its various forms moved from a distant event to one likely to begin soon. The Fed has signaled it will raise rates at its March meeting; the main question over the past month or so has been whether the first increase would be 25 basis points (bps; 100 bps equal 1.00%) or 50 bps.