Tracking Liftoff: Liftoff!

In a highly anticipated move, the Federal Reserve finally raised the target range for the federal funds rate, hiking it by a quarter-percentage point. This was the first rate hike in nearly a decade and signals the central bank’s confidence in the U.S. economy. The course of interest rate normalization is expected to be gradual but will ultimately be determined by incoming economic data. Based on the Fed’s “dot plot,” which shows Federal Open Market Committee members’ expectations for interest rates in the future, officials are expecting the federal funds rate target to increase one percentage point by this time next year.

View the evolution of this decision in our interactive graphic below.

Tracking Liftoff: Will it be October?

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is getting ready for it October 27-28 two-day meeting, where it will decide whether it is time to raise the federal funds rate target.

Based on comments by some Fed officials, it appears that a rate hike might come before year-end.  As shown in the right-hand column of the graphic below, however, monthly employment gains have slowed, as has capacity utilization.  The deceleration in growth is causing some analysts to predict that the Fed won’t raise rates until its December meeting or even delay until 2016.

The graphic below allows you to track how FOMC members are thinking about when that liftoff in rates should occur. Click on the photo of an FOMC member to see that person’s view about the timing of liftoff, how their view may have evolved since last December, and key quotes that are hyperlinked to full speeches.

The photos of voting members are shown in circles with nonvoting members in squares. Key economic indicators are presented on the right (where the data shown represent the original estimates that were available at the time of the meeting rather than more recent revisions).