At the margin, it is fair to say that a fourth rate rise this year grew a little more likely, but that is about it. To support this notion, growth is now described as "strong" rather than solid. As ever, every choice of word in an FOMC communique must be examined minutely, and Steven Blitz of TS Lombard draws the following conclusion: "If you upgrade your description of the economy six weeks after having raised the funds rate 25 basis points and still call policy rates “accommodative”, there is no place else to go but to raise rates another 25 in September and again in December, assuming the economy is still rolling along. One could ask why the Fed didn’t just raise rates in August, based on stronger growth and inflation assessments. The answer is simply habit. Shifting to a faster calendar pace would unsettle markets, especially after a meeting without a press conference."
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