Initial Guidance | 16 June 2016

The Federal Reserve left its policy rate unchanged at range of 0.25% to 0.50% at yesterday’s FOMC meeting and trimmed its economic outlook. Fed Chair Janet Yellen referred to “headwinds blowing on the economy,” including next week’s UK vote on European Union membership. The Fed’s revised economic projections trimmed growth forecasts for the US this year and in 2017. As a result, a summer rate hike is now rated a low probability. Economists at First Trust wrote that “it’s hard to read today’s [FOMC] statement as anything other than the Fed getting spooked by the recent employment report.”

Industrial production in the US fell 0.4% in May, well below expectations. “It’s a poor report. Industrial production is falling and weak on a broad horizon,” says Robert Brusca, chief economist at FAO Economics. On a year-over-year basis, industrial output was in the red for nine straight months through May.

Manufacturing activity in the New York Fed region rebounded in June. The Empire State manufacturing index increased to +6.0 from -9.0 in May, reflecting improving conditions via the positive number.

US mortgage applications resumed a downward trend, falling 2.4% last week vs. the previous week, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports.