04 18 2017 | by Victor Xing | Capital Markets
02 17 2017 | by Victor Xing | Economics
Looming risks through the prism of bifurcated housing market
01 11 2017 | by Victor Xing | Economics
Financial risk contagion: China’s capital outflow
12 22 2016 | by Victor Xing | Economics
November PCE: dollar strength weighed on goods inflation
12 14 2016 | by Victor Xing | Central Banks
A less-hawkish interpretation of the December FOMC
12 02 2016 | by Victor Xing | Economics
November Payrolls and Governor Powell on risk management
11 15 2016 | by Victor Xing | Central Banks
November FOMC minutes and debates behind guidance change
11 04 2016 | by Victor Xing | Economics
October Payrolls: decent data with stronger wage growth
11 02 2016 | by Victor Xing | Central Banks
November FOMC: forward guidance and the return of “some”
11 01 2016 | by Victor Xing | Economics
September PCE: goods and energy inflation lead the index
10 10 2015 | by Victor Xing | Central Banks
Does the Federal Reserve “need” to begin policy normalization?
Some observers argued that the economy seems to be growing under Federal Reserve's accommodative monetary policy. Are there reasons for the Federal Reserve to raise rates and begin removing policy accommodation?
The Federal Reserve has two objectives:
- Stable prices in the form of Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) at 2% YoY
- Maximum employment
Federal Reserve policymakers commented on the employment mandate in its September meeting:
Participants agreed that labor market conditions had improved considerably since earlier in the year. Payroll employment had been increasing steadily. Underutilization of labor resources had diminished along a number of dimensions: The unemployment rate had fallen to a level close to most participants’ estimates of its longer-run normal rate, and the numbers of discouraged workers and those employed part time for economic reasons had moved lower. With the cumulative improvement in labor market conditions, most participants thought that the underutilization of labor resources had been substantially reduced, and a few of them expressed the view that underutilization had been eliminated. But some others believed that labor market slack in addition to that measured by the unemployment rate remained and that further progress was possible before labor market conditions were fully consistent with the Committee’s objective of maximum employment
In other words, the maximum employment mandate is close to being met.
The concern is on inflation, and FOMC participants projected inflation to reach between 1.5% to 1.8% PCE in 2016. Since monetary policies work with a lag, policymakers would prefer to initiate rate hike before inflation reaches 2% PCE.
Therefore, the FED is all about conducting policies according to its projection of employment and inflation. One can critique whether they are right about their projection (and they have been revising down their projections for the past couple meetings), but the FED has been very consistent in its pursuit to meet its dual mandate. If the Federal Reserve projects economic conditions on path to meet its dual mandate, then the central bank may lean toward removing accommodation and begin policy normalization.
Next article10 10 2015 | by Victor Xing | Central Banks