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02 10 2016 | by Victor Xing | Central Banks

美國2016年半年度貨幣政策報告:“觀察等待”

2016年二月半年度貨幣政策報告概要

美聯儲主席Yellen在2月10日和11日代表聯邦公開市場委員會出席國會聽證。儘管美聯儲理事Brainard紐約聯儲銀行總裁Dudley副主席Fischer沒有出席聽證會,他們的政策的看法還是反映在Yellen的書面證詞和Q&A應答。

投資者在聽證會前已期望聯儲局暗示更加溫和的政策。主席Yellen通過強調在中國經濟發展放緩,美元強勢,油價下跌等宏觀趨勢下,金融狀況已經收緊 (Dudley總裁在一月曾提醒市場對金融狀況的關注)。聯儲主席的“更溫和”政見滿足了部份投資者期望,但Yellen認為美聯儲不會在近期內面臨降息壓力。聽證會上談到假設在美國實施類似於歐洲央行和日本央行負利率,但問答環節顯示美聯儲在這方面還缺乏準備。副主席Fischer曾經在一月提到過實施負利率的困難。

根據這次半年度貨幣政策報告,聯邦公開市場委員會表現出的謹慎的態度類似於Brainard理事的“觀察等待”政策立場。但是,公開市場委員會目前沒有流露偏向降息的態度,而美聯儲還需要完成更多關於負利率的調查。這意味著即使需要,委員會還不能在短期內開始實施負利率。

金融狀況(Financial Conditions)

Yellen在聽證會重申了進期的金融狀況收緊以及對經濟發展的負面影響。儘管如此,Yellen強調勞工市場和美聯儲的經濟預測只有在更持久的金融狀況收緊下才會受到衝擊。

Financial conditions in the United States have recently become less supportive of growth, with declines in broad measures of equity prices, higher borrowing rates for riskier borrowers, and a further appreciation of the dollar. These developments, if they prove persistent, could weigh on the outlook for economic activity and the labor market, although declines in longer-term interest rates and oil prices provide some offset. Still, ongoing employment gains and faster wage growth should support the growth of real incomes and therefore consumer spending, and global economic growth should pick up over time, supported by highly accommodative monetary policies abroad. Against this backdrop, the Committee expects that with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace in coming years and that labor market indicators will continue to strengthen.

其次,Yellen提到外國風險因素 – 中國的外匯市場動盪和經濟發展放緩。Yellen也談到了海外經濟疲軟和原材料市場下跌的惡性循環,以及更多下行風險對金融狀況的打擊。

As is always the case, the economic outlook is uncertain. Foreign economic developments, in particular, pose risks to U.S. economic growth. Most notably, although recent economic indicators do not suggest a sharp slowdown in Chinese growth, declines in the foreign exchange value of the renminbi have intensified uncertainty about China’s exchange rate policy and the prospects for its economy. This uncertainty led to increased volatility in global financial markets and, against the background of persistent weakness abroad, exacerbated concerns about the outlook for global growth. These growth concerns, along with strong supply conditions and high inventories, contributed to the recent fall in the prices of oil and other commodities. In turn, low commodity prices could trigger financial stresses in commodity-exporting economies, particularly in vulnerable emerging market economies, and for commodity-producing firms in many countries. Should any of these downside risks materialize, foreign activity and demand for U.S. exports could weaken and financial market conditions could tighten further.

近期的金融市場動盪的確導致了金融狀況收緊。Goldman Sachs金融狀況指數包括以下構件:

  • 短期債券利率
  • 長期企業債利率(十年掉期利率與十年CDX利差總和)
  • 美金匯率
  • 股市變數
貨幣政策
Goldman Sachs金融狀況指數

Yellen主席對於金融狀況的政策立場類似於Dudley總裁在1月3日提到的金融狀況收緊:

Financial conditions have tightened considerably in the weeks since the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates and monetary policy makers will have to take that into consideration should that phenomenon persist, a top Fed official said on Wednesday.

In addition, the weakening outlook for the global economy and any further strengthening of the dollar could have “significant consequences” for the health of the U.S. economy, William Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, told MNI in an interview.

“One thing I think we can say with more confidence is that financial conditions are considerably tighter than they were at the time of the December meeting,” said Dudley, a permanent voter on the Federal Open Market Committee, the Fed’s monetary policy arm.

“So if those financial conditions were to remain in place by the time we get to the March meeting, we would have to take that into consideration in terms of that monetary policy decision,” he said.

Dudley總裁 (前Goldman Sachs首席經濟學家) 與現任GS首席經濟學家 Jan Hatzius 合著了Goldman Sachs金融狀況指數,此指數也因此受到市場重視。

觀察等待(watchful waiting)

美聯儲主席的謹慎詞句呼應了美聯儲理事Brainard在2月3日提出的“觀察等待”

Federal Reserve governor Lael Brainard thinks there are strong reasons to go slowly on further interest-rate increases.

That opinion is an important one: The 54-year-old economist is emerging as a significant influence at an uncertain time for monetary policy and market tumult, and her arguments have traction with the Fed’s leadership.

Her concern is that stresses in emerging markets including China and slow growth in developed economies could spill over to the U.S. “This translates into weaker exports, business investment and manufacturing in the United States, slower progress on hitting the inflation target, and financial tightening through the exchange rate and rising risk spreads on financial assets,” Ms. Brainard said Monday in response to questions from The Wall Street Journal.

“Recent developments reinforce the case for watchful waiting,” she said.

Yellen在兩日的聽證會沒有暗示要逆轉去年十二月的加息。但是她也依照慣例重申了聯儲局會保留選擇并根據數據制定政策,儘管局內高級決策者已經更加慎重。Yellen對於降息有以下的答覆:

I do not expect the FOMC will soon be in the situation where it’s necessary to cut rates.

There is always some chance of a recession in any year, but the evidence suggests expansions don’t die of old age.

負利率(Negative interest rates)

關於負利率的討論主要發生在問答會。對于負利率是否合法,Yellen有已下的答覆:

That remains a question we still would need to investigate more thoroughly.  I am not aware of anything that would prevent us from doing it, but I’m saying that we have not fully investigated the legal issues. That still needs to be done.

Yellen認為如有需要,聯儲局會考慮負利率:

We had previously considered them and decided that they would not work well to foster accommodation back in 2010

In light of the experience of European countries and others that have gone to negative rates, we’re taking a look at them again because we would want to be prepared in the event that we needed to add accommodation

但是實施負利率的困難還存在。Yellen承認美國的金融支付系統是否可以接受負利率還尚未確定。副主席Fischer在一月的講話提到過實施負利率的一些執行障礙:

Could negative interest rates be a policy response that the Federal Reserve could choose to employ in a future crisis? One possible concern with a strategy of this sort in the United States is the potential for destabilizing effects in money markets. For example, various observers have noted that negative rates could lead to scenarios in which money funds “break the buck” or simply shut down, either of which could generate strains in money markets. Another concern is whether the complex and interconnected infrastructure supporting securities transactions in the U.S. financial system could readily adapt to a world of negative interest rates. For example, similar to the types of issues addressed ahead of the year 2000, there could well be automated systems that simply are not coded properly at present to process transactions based on instruments with negative rates. All of these are, of course, transitional problems, but they might be sufficient to make a move to negative rates difficult to implement on short notice.

結論

美國2016年半年度貨幣政策報告給予業內人士一個可貴的機會來觀察聯邦公開市場委員會的最新思路。显然,美聯儲理事Brainard,紐約聯儲銀行總裁Dudley和副主席Fischer的思路在方向性與Yellen一致。這表示其他兩位聯儲理事(Tarullo和Powell)也會有相同觀點。雖然聯儲主席Yellen對經濟的近期前景表示謹慎,但她也為公開市場委員會以後保的政策留選擇餘地。

Next article02 10 2016 | by Victor Xing | Central Banks

February 2016 Monetary Policy Report: “watchful waiting”