(Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged and signaled it would stay on hold through 2020, keeping it on the sidelines in an election year while also opening the possibility it might buy short-term coupon-bearing securities to ease money-market strain.
“Our economic outlook remains a favorable one despite global developments and ongoing risks,” Chairman Jerome Powell told a press conference Wednesday in Washington following the decision. “As long as incoming information about the economy remains broadly consistent with this outlook, the current stance of monetary policy likely will remain appropriate.”
The Treasury 10-year yields fell below 1.8%, the dollar declined and U.S. stocks edged higher. Powell spoke after the Federal Open Market Committee held the target range of the federal funds rate steady at 1.5% to 1.75% and its median forecast showed no rate change through next year.
“The FOMC’s monetary policy message is that the Fed is on hold and that it would take some significant change in the outlook to induce the Fed to move,” Roberto Perli, a partner at Cornerstone Macro LLC in Washington, wrote in a note. “Powell, however, made some news when talking about the problems affecting the repo market.”
Powell told reporters that the committee might consider widening reserves management-related Treasuries purchases to include short-term coupon-bearing securities, if necessary, to ease liquidity strains in money markets.
Here is the current Fed “Dots Plot” indicating a hold on rate changes through 2020, but rising after the 2020 election.
The Fed has helped push relevant rate to around 1.576%.
Jerome Powell should be happy that someone hasn’t painted a picture of him ala Mexican revolutionary hero Emiliano Zapata.