Fed leaves interest rates unchanged, but is no longer ‘patient’

The Federal Reserve announced June 19 that it would not make changes to targets for its key interest rate, the federal funds rate, which influences what banks charge for consumer loans including mortgages. However, in line with some projections, the Federal Open Market Committee made significant revisions to forecasts on future interest rate adjustments in response to new concerns that economic growth is slowing. Most notably, eight of the FOMC’s 17 members said they anticipated authorizing a cut to the federal funds rate before the end of 2019, with all but one of that group predicting two cuts. Another eight said they did not yet see a need to increase or decrease rates this year. Only one FOMC member projected an interest rate hike at some point this year. The Fed’s median rate forecast for 2020 also moved lower compared to its previous policy statement in March, indicating that most FOMC members believe rates will be lower next year than they were this year. Also of note to analysts and economists was the wording of the Fed’s perfunctory post-meeting policy statement. This brief statement on the reasoning behind the FOMC’s latest rate decisions is often nearly identical from one month to

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