FOMC Announces Taper, Rates Unchanged as Expected

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    Helmholtz Watson

    No surprises though dismissive of Hurricane affects despite their size is an interesting one – though not surprising main street v. ivory towers.


    I knew they would have mention hurricanes
    after last year making excuses because of snowfall

    Helmholtz Watson
    Helmholtz Watson

    Yellen opening statement Sept 20


    Low inflation doesn’t reflect broad economic conditions
    Effects holding down inflation should be transitory
    Our understanding of forces behind inflation is imperfect
    Fed prepared to adjust monetary policy as needed to get back to 2%
    Payrolls may be impacted in Sept by hurricanes
    Exports have picked up on stronger global economy
    Business investment has picked up
    Economy will warrant continued, gradual rate hikes
    Policy is not on a pre-set course
    Balance sheet will decline gradually and predictably
    Fed funds will not have to rise much further to get to neutral stance

    September 20, 2017 Chair Yellen’s Press Conference Opening Statement
    Transcript of Chair Yellen’s Press Conference Opening Remarks
    September 20, 2017

    CHAIR YELLEN: Good afternoon. At our meeting that concluded earlier today, my
    colleagues and I on the Federal Open Market Committee decided to maintain the target range for
    the federal funds rate at 1 to 1-1/4 percent. This accommodative policy should support some
    further strengthening in the job market and a return to 2 percent inflation, consistent with our
    statutory objectives. We also decided that in October we will begin the balance sheet
    normalization program that we outlined in June. This program will reduce our securities
    holdings in a gradual and predictable manner. I’ll have more to say about these decisions
    shortly, but first I’ll review recent economic developments and the outlook.

    As we expected, and smoothing through some variation from quarter to quarter,
    economic activity has been rising moderately so far this year. Household spending has been
    supported by ongoing strength in the job market. Business investment has picked up, and
    exports have shown greater strength this year, in part reflecting improved economic conditions
    abroad. Overall, we expect that the economy will continue to expand at a moderate pace over
    the next few years.

    In the third quarter, however, economic growth will be held down by the severe
    disruptions caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. As activity resumes and rebuilding
    gets underway, growth likely will bounce back. Based on past experience, these effects are
    unlikely to materially alter the course of the national economy beyond the next couple of
    quarters. Of course, for the families and communities that have been devastated by the storms,
    recovery will take time, and on behalf of the Federal Reserve, let me express our sympathy for
    all those who have suffered losses.

    In the labor market, job gains averaged 185,000 per month over the three months ending
    in August–a solid rate of growth that remained well above estimates of the pace necessary to
    absorb new entrants to the labor force. We know from some timely indicators such as initial
    claims for unemployment insurance that the hurricanes severely disrupted the labor market in the
    affected areas, and payroll employment may be substantially affected in September. However,
    such effects should unwind relatively quickly. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate has stayed
    low in recent months and, at 4.4 percent in August, was modestly below the median of FOMC
    participants’ estimates of its longer-run normal level. Participation in the labor force has
    changed little, both recently and over the past four years. Given the underlying downward trend
    in participation stemming largely from the aging of the U.S. population, a relatively steady
    participation rate is a further sign of improving conditions in the labor market. We expect that
    the job market will strengthen somewhat further.

    Turning to inflation, the 12-month change in the price index for personal consumption
    expenditures was 1.4 percent in July, down noticeably from earlier in the year. Core inflation–
    which excludes the volatile food and energy categories–has also moved lower. For quite some
    time, inflation has been running below the Committee’s 2 percent longer-run objective.
    However, we believe this year’s shortfall in inflation primarily reflects developments that are
    largely unrelated to broader economic conditions. For example, one-off reductions earlier this
    year in certain categories of prices, such as wireless telephone services, are currently holding
    down inflation, but these effects should be transitory. Such developments are not uncommon
    and, as long as inflation expectations remain reasonably well anchored, are not of great concern
    from a policy perspective because their effects fade away. Similarly, the recent, hurricanerelated
    increases in gasoline prices will likely boost inflation, but only temporarily.

    broadly, with employment near assessments of its maximum sustainable level and the labor
    market continuing to strengthen, the Committee continues to expect inflation to move up and
    stabilize around 2 percent over the next couple of years, in line with our longer-run objective.
    Nonetheless, our understanding of the forces driving inflation is imperfect, and in light of the
    unexpected lower inflation readings this year, the Committee is monitoring inflation
    developments closely. As always, the Committee is prepared to adjust monetary policy as
    needed to achieve its inflation and employment objectives over the medium term.
    Let me turn to the economic projections that Committee participants submitted for this
    meeting, which now extend through 2020. As always, participants conditioned their projections
    on their own individual views of appropriate monetary policy, which, in turn, depend on each
    participant’s assessments of the many factors that shape the outlook. The median projection for
    growth of inflation-adjusted gross domestic product (or real GDP) is 2.4 percent this year and
    about 2 percent in 2018 and 2019. By 2020, the median growth projection moderates to 1.8
    percent, in line with its estimated longer-run rate. The median projection for the unemployment
    rate stands at 4.3 percent in the fourth quarter of this year and runs a little above 4 percent over
    the next three years, modestly below the median estimate of its longer-run normal rate. Finally,
    the median inflation projection is 1.6 percent this year, 1.9 percent next year, and 2 percent in
    2019 and 2020. Compared with the projections made in June, real GDP growth is a touch
    stronger this year and inflation, particularly core inflation, is slightly softer this year and next.

    Otherwise, the projections are little changed from June.

    Returning to monetary policy, although the Committee decided at this meeting to
    maintain its target for the federal funds rate, we continue to expect that the ongoing strength of
    the economy will warrant gradual increases in that rate to sustain a healthy labor market and
    stabilize inflation around our 2 percent longer-run objective. That expectation is based on our
    view that the federal funds rate remains somewhat below its neutral level–that is, the level that is
    neither expansionary nor contractionary and keeps the economy operating on an even keel.
    Because the neutral rate currently appears to be quite low by historical standards, the federal
    funds rate would not have to rise much further to get to a neutral policy stance. But because we
    also expect the neutral level of the federal funds rate to rise somewhat over time, additional
    gradual rate hikes are likely to be appropriate over the next few years to sustain the economic
    expansion. Even so, the Committee continues to anticipate that the longer-run neutral level of
    the federal funds rate is likely to remain below levels that prevailed in previous decades.
    This view is consistent with participants’ projections of appropriate monetary policy.

    The median projection for the federal funds rate is 1.4 percent at the end of this year, 2.1 percent
    at the end of next year, 2.7 percent at the end of 2019, and 2.9 percent in 2020. Compared with
    the projections made in June, the median path for the federal funds rate is essentially unchanged,
    although the median estimate of the longer-run normal value edged down to 2.8 percent.
    As always, the economic outlook is highly uncertain, and participants will adjust their
    assessments of the appropriate path for the federal funds rate in response to changes to their
    economic outlooks and views of the risks to their outlooks. Policy is not on a pre-set course.
    As I noted, the Committee announced today that it will begin its balance sheet
    normalization program in October. This program, which was described in the June addendum to
    our Policy Normalization Principles and Plans, will gradually decrease our reinvestments of
    proceeds from maturing Treasury securities and principal payments from agency securities. As a
    result, our balance sheet will decline gradually and predictably. For October through December,
    the decline in our securities holdings will be capped at $6 billion per month for Treasuries and $4 billion per month for agencies. These caps will gradually rise over the course of the following year to maximums of $30 billion per month for Treasuries and $20 billion per month for agency securities and will remain in place through the process of normalizing the size of our balance sheet. By limiting the volume of securities that private investors will have to absorb as we reduce our holdings, the caps should guard against outsized moves in interest rates and other
    potential market strains.

    Finally, as we’ve noted previously, changing the target range for the federal funds rate is
    our primary means of adjusting the stance of monetary policy. Our balance sheet is not intended
    to be an active tool for monetary policy in normal times. We therefore do not plan on making
    adjustments to our balance sheet normalization program. But, of course, as we stated in June, the
    Committee would be prepared to resume reinvestments if a material deterioration in the
    economic outlook were to warrant a sizable reduction in the federal funds rate.

    Thank you. I’d be happy to take your questions


    Yellen Q&A:

    The shortfall of inflation this year is more of a mystery
    I will not say that the committee fully understands the shortfall
    If inflation shortfall persists, it will be necessary to change monetary policy to address it
    Tightness in labor market will lag in pushing up wages and prices



    We are certainly taking into account movements in asset prices in setting policy
    As long as we believe we can use Fed funds rate as a tool, that’s how we plan to calibrate policy, not with balance sheet
    We would only consider resuming reinvestment if there was a material deterioration in the outlook


    So are they admitting ignorance or blaming on inflation

    Yellen ‘Idiosyncratic factors don’t full explain inflation miss” and then “If the Fed view on inflation changes, it would require an alteration in monetary policy”


    Mmmm Yellen says she hasn’t met with Trump since early in his term … so is she staying around much longer?


    [quote=”TradersCom” post=1619]Yellen Q&A:

    The shortfall of inflation this year is more of a mystery
    I will not say that the committee fully understands the shortfall
    If inflation shortfall persists, it will be necessary to change monetary policy to address it
    Tightness in labor market will lag in pushing up wages and prices[/quote]

    Isn’t it the job of the Federal Reserve to understand inflation? How can the Fed be “data dependent” when they don’t understand the data?


    All just doublespeak and it seems to be sating the masses and working with ATH stockmarkets

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