Updated: 03-19-2018

The minutes from the January 30-31 FOMC meeting were released today (February 21). It would be a mistake to put a hard spin on them as being either dovish or hawkish.

What they were was typical. That is, they provided a little something for anyone aiming to put a spin on the Fed's view of matters as of January 30-31.

Some were concerned about financial imbalances building; others were not. Some were concerned about inflation picking up; others were not.

The most salient summation, though, was that a "...majority of participants noted that a stronger outlook for economic growth raised the likelihood that further gradual policy firming would be appropriate."

The latter view is noteworthy because it was established before the employment, CPI, and PPI reports for January were released, before Congress agreed on a two-year budget agreement that will increase spending by approximately $420 billion, and before the upheaval in the stock market.

By the way, several Fed officials discussing the upheaval in the stock market, which triggered a decline of as much as 11.8% in the S&P 500 between January 26 and February 9, have already said that it didn't alter their view that further gradual rate increases seem likely to be warranted based on their growth outlook.

These minutes are effectively a look to the distant past relative to what transpired in the ensuing weeks. Their dated nature, then, diminishes their usefulness as a meaningful market mover.

Furthermore, it shouldn't be lost on market participants that Fed Chairman Powell will be providing his semiannual monetary policy report to Congress on February 28, meaning everyone is about to get a much more current view of the Federal Reserve's thinking and the perspective of the new chairman himself.

Accordingly, these minutes should retain the market's interest for minutes, unlike the testimony from Fed Chairman Powell which should have some staying power and better spin potential leading up to the March 20-21 FOMC meeting.

Copyright © 2008 Briefing.com, Inc. All rights reserved.
Sponsor Center
Sponsored Links
Buy a Link Now
Content Partners