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The Federal Reserve (Fed) raised the target for the fed funds rate to a range of 0.75% to 1% at the May meeting. This was the steepest increment since 2000 and they will begin shrinking their $9 trillion asset portfolio. Fed Chairman Powell said that additional half-point increases could be warranted at the June and July meetings given current economic conditions. Chair Powell discussed the expectations of achieving a soft landing as both households and business balance sheets are in strong financial shape which would poise the US economy for a soft landing. The next meeting is scheduled for June 14th.
Investors continued to withdraw from municipal bond mutual funds during April as investors digested the change in Fed policy and persistent inflation concerns. Last year saw record inflows for state and local debt as investors were seeking higher yields amid historically low interest rates with an improved credit landscape aided by billions in federal aid. State and Local governments will be financing their annual budgets in the coming months and we anticipate new issue issuance increasing combined with increased yields reflecting current market levels. The current shift in the yield curve will have issuers looking to reevaluate the different funding options available to them in the municipal markets.
Municipal money market fund assets have remained seasonal. The front end of the yield curve, securities maturing within one year, have seen yields increasing in tandem with taxable yields the past few weeks. The SIFMA Index (7-day high-grade market index reported to the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board) began the year with a weekly reset of 0.06% and ended April with a rate of 0.44%. After the Fed increased the rate on May 4th the index moved to 0.60%. We will continue to maintain high levels of liquidity with variable rate security indexes trending higher and will continue to provide shareholders with market returns.
Our experienced credit research team will continue to review our current holdings and any purchases we make going forward. All of the securities purchased receive a minimal credit risk designation prior to purchase and are periodically reviewed for any changes to the credit
All investments involve risk, including the possible loss of principal. Certain investments involve greater or unique risks that should be considered along with the objectives, fees, and expenses before investing.
BNY Mellon Investment Management is one of the world’s leading investment organizations encompassing BNY Mellon’s affiliated investment management firms and global distribution companies. BNY Mellon is the corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation and may also be used as a generic term to reference the corporation as a whole or its various subsidiaries generally. Municipal income may be subject to state and local taxes. Some income may be subject to the federal alternative minimum tax for certain investors. Capital gains, if any, are taxable.
This material has been provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular investment product, strategy, investment manager or account arrangement, and should not serve as a primary basis for investment decisions. Prospective investors should consult a legal, tax or financial professional in order to determine whether any investment product, strategy or service is appropriate for their particular circumstances. Views expressed are those of the author stated and do not reflect views of other managers or the firm overall. Views are current as of the date of this publication and subject to change. This information contains projections or other forwardlooking statements regarding future events, targets or expectations, and is only current as of the date indicated. There is no assurance that such events or expectations will be achieved, and actual results may be significantly different from that shown here. The information is based on current market conditions, which will fluctuate and may be superseded by subsequent market events or for other reasons. References to specific securities, asset classes and financial markets are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to be and should not be interpreted as recommendations. Information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but not guaranteed. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission.
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