Juan Pedro Marín-Arrese | The hawkish and straightforward message Jerome Powell delivered yesterday surprised analysts and markets alike. They expected a non-committal press conference following a routine FOMC meeting. Instead, Powell unfolded the planned roadmap for monetary tightening. He even announced a rate hike in March, breaking the rule of refraining from providing precise tips on future action, coupled with a sharper than expected increase in federal funds rates. It…
J. P. Marín-Arrese | Once again, Jerome Powell played down the need for monetary easing in the press conference following the Fed’s rate cut decision. His unconvincing delivery led Mr Trump to heap scorn on his uninspiring performance. For once, his bitter recriminations were fully justified.
J. P. Marín-Arrese | US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell faces the dilemma of choosing the right path, confronted with conflicting data and forecasts. While the US economy grew at a booming 4% rate in the first quarter, inflation trails far behind the Fed’s objective and salaries fail to pick up despite historically low levels of unemployment. Moreover, the trade tug-of-war with China is denting confidence in consumers and investors alike. Should the conflict turn worse, the economy might suffer a harsh blow.
The Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points. The effective rate will evolve in a corridor between 2% and 2.25%. The dots graph reflecting monetary policy committee members’ expectations suggests 3 rate increases in 2019, 1 in 2020 and none in 2021. As pointed by Philippe Waechter from Natixis IM, this profile, for 2019 and 2020, is unchanged from last June forecasts.
Benjamin Cole | Fed Chair Jerome Powell has stated the Fed’s 2% target is symmetric, which may be code words for “inflation a little above 2% is tolerable.” The US central bank may find fighting inflation resembles heart surgery with a chainsaw.