Howard's Feed
Nov 6, 2015

Fed policymakers increase drumbeat on possible December hike

Nov 6 (Reuters) – Two U.S. central bank policymakers on
Friday hailed surprisingly strong monthly jobs figures, which
have cemented the view that the Federal Reserve is likely to
raise rates in December.

Nonfarm payrolls surged 271,000 in October, the largest rise
since December 2014.

Nov 6, 2015

Exclusive: Fed faces challenge of how to justify possible slowdown in jobs growth – Bullard

LOUIS (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve has been struggling to convince investors it is about to raise interest rates and now faces the risk that a likely slowdown in job growth will be interpreted as a downturn in the broader economy that will cause the Fed to hold off yet again, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said on Thursday.

In an interview with Reuters, Bullard said U.S. central bankers may need to mount a new communications campaign to convince markets and the public of a counter-intuitive idea: that slowing monthly job growth is natural at this point in the recovery, and will allow the Fed to stay on track for a likely December rate hike.

Nov 5, 2015

Fischer says Fed may be closer than thought to its inflation target

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve may quickly meet its 2 percent inflation target once the price of oil stabilizes and the dollar stops rising, Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said on Wednesday.

“We’re not that far from the 2 percent target, when the price of oil stops falling and when the dollar stops appreciating,” Fischer said at a meeting of the National Economists Club.

Nov 4, 2015

Fed’s Yellen sees possible December rate rise, gradual hiking path

WASHINGTON, Nov 4 (Reuters) – Federal Reserve Chair Janet
Yellen on Wednesday pointed to a possible December interest rate
“liftoff” but said rates would rise only slowly from then on to
nurture the U.S. economic recovery.

In her first public comments since the Fed’s meeting last
week Yellen laid out what now appears the base case at the U.S.
central bank – that low unemployment, continued growth and faith
in a coming return of inflation means the country is ready for
higher interest rates.

Nov 4, 2015

Insight – Fed faces patchwork recovery despite near-normal labour markets

ALEXANDER CITY, Ala (Reuters) – As gleaming new factories turn out Airbus aircraft and Hyundai cars in Alabama’s urban centres, this small town that once was home to Russell Athletics shows the dilemma now faced by U.S. policymakers.

Economic recovery has spread wide, with 34 states reaching new employment highs this year and thousands of counties now close to unemployment rates of the boom years earlier this decade, according to a Reuters analysis of federal data.

Nov 4, 2015

Fed faces patchwork recovery despite near-normal labor markets

ALEXANDER CITY, Ala (Reuters) – As gleaming new factories turn out Airbus (AIR.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) aircraft and Hyundai (005380.KS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) cars in Alabama’s urban centers, this small town that once was home to Russell Athletics shows the dilemma now faced by U.S. policymakers.

Economic recovery has spread wide, with 34 states reaching new employment highs this year and thousands of counties now close to unemployment rates of the boom years earlier this decade, according to a Reuters analysis of federal data.

Oct 29, 2015

For Fed, a risky countdown to December and little help from overseas

WASHINGTON, Oct 29 (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve’s
six-week countdown to a possible December interest rate rise
faces a broad range of risks as policymakers look to lift rates
off the floor at a time of tepid global inflation and a
potential flood of new liquidity.

Rate cuts in China and Norway, plans to expand quantitative
easing in the euro zone and Sweden, and the Bank of Japan’s
ongoing fight with deflation mean the Fed will face the same set
of forces at its next meeting that have complicated decision
making for a year.

Oct 15, 2015

Dudley downplays Fed divisions, says policymakers on same page

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers are not as divided as it may appear and are generally operating under the same framework for determining when to raise interest rates, New York Fed President William Dudley said on Thursday.

Many Fed watchers are exasperated by the mixed messages from the U.S. central bank in recent weeks. Fed Chair Janet Yellen and other officials have said they expect a rate hike by the end of this year, but two Fed governors this week urged caution.

Oct 13, 2015

Bullard says ‘tough’ for Fed to reverse course and hike rates in October

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – It will be difficult for the Federal Reserve to switch gears after only one month of additional data and raise rates at its October meeting, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said on Tuesday.

Bullard supports a rate hike and opposed the decision to delay when the Fed met in September, but said, as a practical matter, the economic data since released is unlikely to convince other policymakers to increase rates when the Fed meets in two weeks.

Oct 12, 2015

Fed’s Brainard urges caution amid Fed split on rate hike timing

WASHINGTON/CHICAGO (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve should hold off on any interest rate hike until it is clear that a global slowdown, trouble in China and other international risks will not push the U.S. recovery off course, Fed Governor Lael Brainard said on Monday in one of the strongest defenses yet of a go-slow approach to rate policy.

“I view the risks to the economic outlook as tilted to the downside. The downside risks make a strong case for continuing to carefully nurture the U.S. recovery – and argue against prematurely taking away the support that has been so critical to its vitality,” Brainard said. It was, Brainard said, time only for “watching and waiting” – not hiking rates.