FOMC April 2016 Meeting Minutes Notes

posted in: Notes | 0

FOMC Minutes Notes

Participants generally agreed that risks to the economic outlook had receded however many indicataed they continued to see downside risks

“Participants generally agreed that the risks to the economic outlook posed by global economic and financial developments had receded over the intermeeting period. The public appeared to have interpreted Federal Reserve communications following the March FOMC meeting as indicating that achieving the Committee’s economic objectives would likely require a somewhat more gradual pace of increases in the federal funds rate than anticipated earlier. The shift in policy expectations, along with incoming data showing that economic growth abroad picked up during the first quarter of the year, seemed to contribute to the improved tone in global financial markets. Several FOMC participants judged that the risks to the economic outlook were now roughly balanced. However, many others indicated that they continued to see downside risks to the outlook either because of concerns that the recent slowdown in domestic spending might persist or because of remaining concerns about the global economic and financial outlook.”

Ongoing downward pressure on core inflation of declining oil prices and strong dollar should subside

” In addition to the ongoing tightening of resource utilization, the recent depreciation of the dollar and the firming in oil prices suggested that the downward pressures on both core and headline inflation from declining prices of non-oil imports and energy should begin to subside.”

Financial conditions improved significantly thanks to Fed communications after the FOMC meeting

“U.S. and global financial conditions improved significantly over the intermeeting period, marked by a rise in equity indexes, more positive risk sentiment, and a decline in financial market volatility. During their discussion of these developments, participants cited several factors that likely contributed to the easing in financial conditions. In the view of many FOMC participants, Federal Reserve communications after the March FOMC meeting led financial market participants to shift down their expectations concerning the likely path of the Committee’s target for the federal funds rate. In addition, the recent depreciation of the dollar and indications of a rebound of economic growth in China appeared to reduce pressures on the renminbi”

Most participants continued to expect that the medium term outlook hasn’t changed, but still think it’s appropriate to be cautious

” most participants continued to expect that, with labor markets continuing to strengthen, the dollar no longer appreciating, and energy prices apparently having bottomed out, inflation would move up to the Committee’s 2 percent objective in the medium run. Still, with 12-month PCE inflation continuing to run below the Committee’s 2 percent objective, a number of participants judged that it would be appropriate to proceed cautiously in removing policy accommodation. Some participants pointed to the risk that the recent weak data on domestic spending could reflect a loss of momentum in the economy that might hinder further gains in the labor market and raise the likelihood that inflation could fail to increase as expected. Accordingly, these participants believed that it would be important to evaluate whether incoming information was consistent with their expectation that economic growth would pick up and thus support continued improvement in the labor market”

Open to the possibility of an increase in fed funds rate at June FOMC meeting

” participants generally saw maintaining the target range for the federal funds rate at 1/4 to 1/2 percent at this meeting and continuing to assess developments carefully as consistent with setting policy in a data-dependent manner and as leaving open the possibility of an increase in the federal funds rate at the June FOMC meeting.”

Some saw risks of continuing to wait to raise rates

“Some participants saw limited costs to maintaining a patient posture at this meeting but noted the risks–including potential risks to financial stability–of waiting too long to resume the process of removing policy accommodation, especially given the lags with which monetary policy affects the economy. A couple of participants were concerned that further postponement of action to raise the federal funds rate might confuse the public about the economic considerations that influence the Committee’s policy decisions and potentially erode the Committee’s credibility.””

Overly accommodative policy could induce imprudent risk taking in financial markets

“. Two participants noted that several standard policy benchmarks, such as a number of interest rate rules and some measures of the equilibrium real interest rate, continued to imply values for the federal funds rate well above the current target range. Such large and persistent deviations of the federal funds rate from these benchmarks, in their view, posed a risk that the removal of policy accommodation was proceeding too slowly and that the Committee might, in the future, find it necessary to raise the federal funds rate quickly to combat inflation pressures, potentially unduly disrupting economic or financial activity. Overly accommodative policy could also induce imprudent risk-taking in financial markets, posing additional risks to achieving the Committee’s goals in the future.”

Most participants judged that if incoming data were consistent with economic growth then it would be appropriate to increase the target range for fed funds

“Most participants judged that if incoming data were consistent with economic growth picking up in the second quarter, labor market conditions continuing to strengthen, and inflation making progress toward the Committee’s 2 percent objective, then it likely would be appropriate for the Committee to increase the target range for the federal funds rate in June”

Market participants may not have properly assessed the likelihood of an increase in June

“Some participants were concerned that market participants may not have properly assessed the likelihood of an increase in the target range at the June meeting, and they emphasized the importance of communicating clearly over the intermeeting period how the Committee intends to respond to economic and financial developments.”