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FED: FOMC raised the funds rate to 1.50% to 1.75% on 8-0 vote, while
the dots suggest three hikes in 2018. However, 2018 dots show they were
only one dot away from raising to four hikes.
- Despite the median expectation for rates at the end of 2018 remaining
at 2.1%, they were raised for all other years. 2019 is now projected for
three hikes, moving the projection to 2.9%. 2020 rose to 3.4% and longer
run to 2.9%.
- There were minimal changes in the statement. However, they did note
that inflation on a 12-month basis is expected to move up "in coming
months" rather than "this year." Additionally, household spending and
business fixed investment is now reported to "have moderated from their
strong fourth-quarter readings."
- The economic projections show a slightly more hawkish stance, with a
stronger GDP growth and a lower unemployment rate at the end of 2018.
The unemployment rate is seen at 3.8% at the end of 2018 and dropping to
3.6% for 2019 and 2020.