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CNBC - Why two experts don't expect surprises from the Fed (Media Centre)

Kathy Jones, chief fixed income strategist at Schwab Center for Financial Research, and Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, sit down with "Squawk Box" to discuss what they expect of the Fed's announcement on it's monetary policy plan.

19 June 2019 The Fed Will Commit to Ease if "Appropriate" it isn't, Yet (Publication Centre)

The Fed will leave rates unchanged today.

19 September. 2016 Don't Mistake the Fed's Tactical Decisions for a Change in Strategy (Publication Centre)

The Fed's strategic view of the economy and policy has not changed since last December, when it first said that "The Committee expects that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant only gradual increases in the federal funds rate; the federal funds rate is likely to remain, for some time, below levels that are expected to prevail in the longer run.

19 Sept 2019 Caught in the Lights Bi-directional Uncertainty Constrains the Fed (Publication Centre)

The Fed headlines yesterday carried no real surprises; rates were cut by 25bp, with a promise to take further action if "appropriate to sustain the expansion".

18 Sept 2019 Will the Fed Forecast Meaningfully Higher Tariff-Induced Inflation (Publication Centre)

We'd be very surprised to see anything other than a 25bp rate cut from the Fed today, alongside a repeat of the key language from July, namely, that the Committee "... will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion".

9 Oct 2019 The Fed will Buy Bills, but not Enough "Materially" to Shift its Policy Stance (Publication Centre)

Fed Chair Powell did not specify how many bills the Fed will buy in order boost bank reserves sufficiently to remove the strain in funding markets, but we'd expect to see something of the order of $500B.

11 February 2019 Is the Accelerating Fall in Bank Reserves a Real Problem for the Fed? (Publication Centre)

The rundown of the Fed's balance sheet has proceeded in line with the plans laid out b ack in June 2017.

5 October 2018 BoJ Flexibility was Partly Designed to Accommodate the Fed Path (Publication Centre)

When the BoJ tweaked policy back in July, we think the increase in flexibility in part was to lay groundwork for the BoJ to respond to the Fed's ongoing hiking cycle.

2 November. 2016 No Action From the Fed Today (Publication Centre)

The Fed won't raise rates today, or substantively change the wording of the post-meeting statement. In September, the FOMC said that "The Committee judges that the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has strengthened but decided, for the time being, to wait for further evidence of continued progress toward its objectives."

08 Feb. 2016 If the Fed Focuses on Wages, They'll Hike in March (Publication Centre)

The Fed's decisions over the next few months hinge on the relative importance policymakers place on the apparent slowdown in payroll growth and the unambiguous acceleration in wages. We qualify our verdict on the payroll numbers because the January number was very close to our expectation, which in turn was based largely on an analysis of the seasonals, not the underlying economy.

2 March 2017 How Will the Fed Decide Whether to Hike in March, or Wait? (Publication Centre)

The odds of a hike this month have increased in recent days, though the chance probably is not as high as the 82% implied by the fed funds future. The arguments against a March hike are that GDP growth seems likely to be very sluggish in Q1, following a sub-2% Q4, and that a hike this month would be seen as a political act.

1 June. 2016 ISM Set to Slip Below 50, but Will the Fed Care Enough to Hold Fire? (Publication Centre)

When the Fed raised rates in December, it subverted one of its own long-standing conventions by hiking with the ISM manufacturing index below 50. The December survey, released just 15 days before the meeting, showed the headline index slipping to 48.6, the third straight sub-50 reading. It has since been revised down to 48.0, the lowest reading since June 2009.

1 November 2017 Will the Fed Upgrade its View on Growth Today? (Publication Centre)

The Fed will do nothing today, but the FOMC's statement will re-affirm the intention to continue its "gradual" tightening.

11 June 2018 The Fed will Hike this Week, but Likely will Hold Back the Fourth Dot (Publication Centre)

The Fed will raise rates by 25 basis points on Wednesday, but as usual after a widely-anticipated policy decision, most of our attention will be focused on what policymakers say about their actions, and how their views on the economy have changed.

18 August. 2015 Can the Fed Hike if the Empire State Survey is Right? (Publication Centre)

Just how weak would the manufacturing sector have to be in order to persuade the Fed to hold fire this fall, assuming the labor market numbers continue to improve steadily? The question is germane in the wake of the startlingly terrible August Empire State manufacturing survey, which suggested that conditions for manufacturers in New York are deteriorating at the fastest rate since June 2009.

14 Jan. 2016 Does Cost-Push Inflation Give the Fed the Luxury of Time? (Publication Centre)

In yesterday's Monitor we set out the risk that accelerating wages will force the Fed to raise rates more quickly than expected, but we didn't have space to address the underlying premise of this story, namely, the idea that inflation is largely a cost-push phenomenon. From the perspective of fixed income investors, it might not seem to matter whether this is a realistic description of the inflation process, because Fed Chair Yellen believes it wholeheartedly, and her hands are on the levers of monetary policy.

16 Mar. 2015 The Fed won't wait for the Whites of Inflation's eyes (Publication Centre)

We don't often picks fights with Nobel prize winners and former Treasury secretaries. But right now we think that Paul Krugman and Larry Summers, leading lights of the view that the Fed should not begin to raise rates "until you see the whites of inflation's eyes", are dead wrong.

26 Oct. 2015 What Has to Happen for the Fed to Hike in December? (Publication Centre)

A rate hike from the Fed this week would be a gigantic surprise, and Yellen Fed has not, so far, been in the surprise business. It would be more accurate to describe the Fed's modus operandi as one of extreme caution, and raising rates when the fed funds future puts the odds of action at close to zero just does not fit the bill.

15 December 2016 Congress, Growth and Inflation Will Determine What the Fed Does Next (Publication Centre)

The Fed's unanimous vote for a 25bp rate hike was overshadowed by the bump up in the dotplot for next year, with three hikes now expected, rather than the two anticipated in the September forecast. Chair Yellen argued the uptick in the rate forecasts was "tiny", but acknowledged that some participants moved their forecasts partly on the basis that fiscal policy is likely to be eased by the new Congress.

16 Dec. 2015 LatAm Central Banks Will Tighten in Response to the Fed? (Publication Centre)

We look for the Fed to increase rates today by 25bp to a range of 0.25%-to-0.50%. The FOMC will likely say that policy remains very accommodative and that rate hikes will be slow. Unfortunately, this will provide only temporary relief to LatAm. According to our Chief Economist, Ian Shepherdson, faster wage gains next year in the U.S. will disrupt the Fed's intention to move gradually. If wages accelerate as quickly as we expect, the Fed will need to raise rates more rapidly than it currently expects, which is also faster than markets anticipate. That, in turn, will put EM markets and currencies under further pressure.

15 February 2017 Yellen Says no "Active" Balance Sheet Management from the Fed (Publication Centre)

Fed Chair Yellen delivered no great surprises in her semi-annual Monetary Policy Testimony, though she certainly was clear on her attitude to the balance sheet. The Fed does not want to "...use the balance sheet as an active tool of monetary policy."

14 December 2017 The Fed Expects Endless Growth and no Inflation, Maybe They're Right (Publication Centre)

The Fed surprised no-one by raising rates 25bp yesterday and leaving in place the median forecast for three hikes next year and two next year.

14 Dec. 2015 What Will Happen to the Dots After the Fed Raises Rates? (Publication Centre)

We have no argument with the consensus view that the language accompanying Wednesday's rate hike will be emollient. The FOMC likely will point out that the policy stance remains very accommodative, and seek to reinforce the idea that it intends to raise rates slowly. That said, recent FOMC statements have not offered any specific guidance on the pace of tightening, saying instead that the Fed "...will take a balanced approach consistent with its longer-run goals... even after employment and inflation are near mandate-consistent levels, economic conditions may, for some time, warrant keeping the target federal funds rate below levels the Committee views as normal in the longer run."

13 March 2017 Business as Usual for LatAm Central Banks, Despite the Fed Hike (Publication Centre)

The Fed rate hike on Wednesday is fully priced in to LatAm markets, so we expect no significant immediate reaction when the trigger is pulled. But as markets gradually come around to our view that future U.S. rate risk is to the upside, markets will come under renewed pressure.

08 Feb. 2016 Banxico Is Focused on the MXN, But the Fed Still Leads (Publication Centre)

Banxico left Mexico's benchmark interest rate at 3.25% last week, after increasing it by 25bp in December, when the U.S. Fed raised rates. Banxico's board maintained its neutral tone and indicated that the balance of risks has deteriorated for growth and short-term inflation. As usual, policymakers reiterated the importance of following the Fed closely to avoid financial instability, which in turn could spill over to inflation.

13 March 2017 Will the Labor Data Push the Fed to Hike Again in June? (Publication Centre)

With rates now certain to rise this week, the real importance of the employment picture is what it says about the timing of the next hike. To be clear, we think the Fed will raise rates again in June, and will at that meeting add another dot to the plot, making four hikes this year.

16 Nov. 2015 Is Banxico Still Willing to Hike Just After the Fed in December? (Publication Centre)

Mexico's domestic conditions don't warrant an imminent rate hike in the near term. Headline inflation continues to fall, reaching an all-time low of 2.5% in October. It should remain below 3% in the coming months. And core prices remain wellbehaved, increasing at a modest pace, signalling very little pass-through of the MXN's depreciation. Economic activity gained some momentum in Q3-- this will be confirmed on Friday's GDP report--but demand pressures on inflation are absent and the output gap is still ample. Under these conditions, policymakers should not be in a rush to hike, but they have signalled once again that they will act immediately after the Fed.

16 March 2017 The Fed Won't be Able to Dodge the Fiscal Policy Question in June (Publication Centre)

It might seem odd to describe a meeting at which the Fed raised rates for only the third time since 2006 as a holding operation, but that just about sums up yesterday's actions. The 25bp rate hike was fully anticipated; the forecasts for growth, inflation and interest rates were barely changed from December; and the Fed still expects a total of three hikes this year.

12 August. 2015 China's Devaluation Won't Deter the Fed, Or Wreck the Economy (Publication Centre)

China's 1.8% downshift in the RMB/dollar reference rate will make only a microscopic difference to the pace of U.S. economic growth and inflation. It will not deter the Fed from raising rates if the domestic labor market continues to tighten, as all the data suggest. The drop in the RMB merely restores the nominal exchange rate to its fall 2012 level, since which time the real exchange rate has risen by some 20%, according to the BIS.

2 Mar. 2015 If Real Wages are Key for the Fed, Policy Will Change Very Soon (Publication Centre)

If recent labor market trends continue, the four employment reports which will be released before the June FOMC meeting will show the economy creating about 1.1M jobs, pushing the unemployment rate down to 5.3%, almost at the bottom of the Fed's estimated Nairu range, 5.2-to-5.5%.

25 Apr. 2016 Growth Will Rebound in Q2, But Brexit Fears Will Constrain the Fed (Publication Centre)

We are revising our forecast for Fed action this year, taking out two of the four hikes we had previously expected. We now look for the Fed to hike by 25bp in September and December, so the funds rate ends the year at 0.875%. The Fed's current forecast is also 0.875%, but the fed funds future shows 0.6%.

28 Apr. 2016 Global Risks Gone, but the Fed is Still Relaxed About Inflation Risk (Publication Centre)

The disappearance from the FOMC statement of any reference to global risks, which first appeared back in September, was both surprising and, in the context of this cautious Fed, quite bold. After all, one bad month in global markets or a reversal of the jump in the latest Chinese PMI surveys presumably would force the Fed quickly to reinstate the global get-out clause. So, why drop it now?

27 May. 2016 June, July, or September: Evaluating the Fed's Options (Publication Centre)

After a busy week of data, and a holiday weekend ahead, it's worth stepping back a bit and evaluating the arguments over the timing of the next Fed hike. The first question, though, is whether the data will support action, on the Fed's own terms. The April FOMC minutes said: "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".

28 November 2018 The Fed is Nearer Neutral, but That's not News Where is Neutral (Publication Centre)

Today brings a ton of data, as well as an appearance by Fed Chair Powell at the Economic Club of New York, in which we assume he will address the current state of the economy and the Fed's approach to policy.

26 Jan. 2015 All Eyes on ECI - Nothing Matters More to the Fed than Wages (Publication Centre)

This week is, potentially, hugely important in determining the Fed's near-term view of the real state of the labor market and its approach to monetary policy over the next few months. The key event is the release of the fourth quarter employment cost index, which could make a material difference to perceptions of the degree of wage pressure.

20 June 2017 As the Balance Sheet Shrinks, how can we Assess the Fed's Stance? (Publication Centre)

The initial pace of the Fed's balance sheet run-off, which we expect to start in October, will be very low. At first, the balance sheet will shrink by only $10B per month, split between $6B Treasuries and $4B mortgages.

24 June 2019 Capex and Stock Market Fears Explain the Fed's Itchy Trigger-Finger (Publication Centre)

The apparent softness of business capex is worrying the Fed.

BLOOMBERG - And Now It's Time to Talk About the Fed (Media Centre)

With today's jobs report confirming a strong labor market recovery, it's time to turn our attention back to the Fed

26 September 2018 The Fed Must Keep Hiking as the Labor Market Keeps Tightening (Publication Centre)

It would be astonishing if the Fed doesn't raise rates today, and Chair Powell is not in the astonishment business; they will hike by 25bp.

25 October 2018 Trump Assails the Fed, Again Mr. Powell can't Afford to Blink (Publication Centre)

The president was on the warpath with the Fed again yesterday, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

23 Feb. 2015 What if the Terminal Rate is Higher than the Fed Thinks? (Publication Centre)

A thought, ahead of Chair Yellen's Testimony tomorrow. Conventional wisdom has it that the terminal Fed funds rate in this cycle will b e much lower than in the past--the Fed thinks 3¾%, compared to 5.25% in 2007, and 6.5% in 2000--reflecting the long-lasting legacy of the crash, particularly in household balance sheets.

23 May. 2016 Does the Fed Funds Laffer Curve Explain Sluggish Growth? (Publication Centre)

Like just about everyone else, we have struggled in recent years to find a convincing explanation for the persistent sluggishness of growth even as the Fed has cut rates to zero and expanded its balance sheet to a peak of $4.2T. Sure, we can explain the slowdown in growth in 2010, when the post-crash stimulus ended, and the subsequent softening in 2013, when government spending was cut by the sequester.

30 October 2017 A Year from now, the Fed Will be Tightening, with More to Come (Publication Centre)

Cast your mind forward to late October 2018. The Fed is preparing to meet next week. What will the economy look like? The key number is three.

27 March 2019 Can the Fed Engineer Sustained Non-in ationary Wage Growth (Publication Centre)

The Fed wants price stability--currently defined as 2% inflation--and maximum sustainable employment.

20 March 2019 Losing One Dot is a Good Bet Two Would Box-in the Fed Unnecessarily (Publication Centre)

We expect the Fed today to shift its dotplot to forecast one rate hike this year, down from two in December and three in September.

4 June 2019 Two Problems for the Fed: What to Expect, and What to Do (Publication Centre)

The Fed is in a double bind.

20 June. 2016 How Can the Fed Escape From the Loop of Endless Inaction? (Publication Centre)

For some time, the Fed has been locked in a loop of endless inaction. Every time the economic data improve and the Fed signals it is preparing to raise rates, either markets--both domestic and global-- react badly, and/or a patch of less good data appear. The nervous, cautious Yellen Fed responds by dialling back the talk of tightening, and markets relax again, until the next time.

22 June. 2015 Why is the Fed so Cautious About the Trajectory of Unemployment? (Publication Centre)

The closer we look at the Fed's new forecasts, the stranger they seem. The FOMC cut its GDP estimate for this year and now expects the economy to grow by 1.9%--the mid-point of its forecast range--in the year to the fourth quarter. Growth is then expected to pick up to 2.6% next year, before slowing a bit to 2.3% in 2017. Unemployment, however, is expected to fall much less quickly than in the recent past.

30 May 2017 Why Don't Markets Take the Fed's Interest Rate Forecasts Seriously? (Publication Centre)

Markets expect the Fed will fail to follow through on its current intention to raise rates twice more this year and three times next year. Part of this skepticism reflects recent experience.

3 May 2018 The Fed Expects Above-Target Inflation Soon, but is Relaxed (Publication Centre)

The Fed pretty clearly wanted to tell markets yesterday that inflation is likely to nudge above the target over the next few months, but that this will not prompt any sort of knee-jerk policy response beyond the continued "gradual" tightening.

21 March 2019 The Fed is Safe Until the Second Half then all Bets are Off (Publication Centre)

Now that the Fed has abandoned the idea of raising rates this year, despite 3.8% unemployment and accelerating wages, it is very exposed to the risk that the bad things it fears don't happen.

30 Mar. 2015 Output Gap Uncertainty Paralysis Keeps the Fed's Focus on Wages (Publication Centre)

Perhaps the biggest single reason for the Fed's reluctance, so far, to move away from monetary policy designed to cope with catastrophe is that no-one knows for sure how much of the damage has been repaired, and how close the economy is to normalizing.

22 Aug 2019 The Fed's July Differences of Opinion Won't Prevent a September Easing (Publication Centre)

It would be easy to characterize the Fed as quite split at the July meeting.

The Street - US Yield Curve Hugs Inversion: Recession Signal Clouded by Negative Global Rates (Media Centre)

Chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson discussing the latest from the Fed

28 March 2019 Growth is Slowing, but Q1 Unlikely to be as Bad as Feared (Publication Centre)

Fourth quarter GDP growth is likely to be revised down today.

12 October. 2016 How Hard Did FOMC Dissenters Push to Hike?  (Publication Centre)

Today's FOMC minutes will add flesh to the bones of the three dissents on September 21. The FOMC statement merely said that each of the three--Loretta Mester, Esther George and Eric Rosengren--preferred to raise rates by a quarter-point.

24 January 2019 Slower Growth won't Necessarily Loosen the Labor Market Much (Publication Centre)

One of the arguments we hear in favor of an endless Fed pause--in other words, the cyclical tightening is over--is that GDP growth is set to slow markedly this year, to only 2% or so.

12 October 2018 What Happens Under Maximum China Tariffs Clue It's not Good (Publication Centre)

The imposition of 10% tariffs on $200B-worth of Chinese imports is not a serious threat either to U.S. economic growth--the tariffs amount to 0.1% of GDP--or inflation.

13 Jan. 2016 How Fast Can the Fed Allow Wages to Rise? (Publication Centre)

The leading wage indicators in the December NFIB survey, released in full yesterday--some of the labor market components appears a few days in advance, ahead of the official payroll report--all point to a substantial acceleration over the next six-to-nine months. Our first two charts show the NFIB jobs-hard-to-fill number and expected compensation numbers, respectively, compared to the rate of growth of hourly earnings. The message is extremely clear.

14 August. 2015 Brazil's Weakness Remains - And Mexico Still Eyeing the Fed (Publication Centre)

The macro data reported in Brazil this week added weight to the view that the economy ended the second quarter in a severe recession. Brazil's retail sales fell 0.4% month-to-month in June, the fifth consecutive contraction. The broad retail index, which includes vehicles and construction materials, fell 0.8% month-to-month, with a sharp contraction in auto sales, down 2.8%.

14 Mar. 2016 Three Big Questions are the Key to the Fed's Actions this Year (Publication Centre)

A huge wave of data will break over markets this week, along with the FOMC meeting, new dot plots and Chair Yellen's press conference. But today is calm, with no significant data releases and no Fed speeches; policymakers are in purdah ahead of the meeting.

13 February 2017 What Would it Take to Persuade the Fed to Hike in March? (Publication Centre)

Our argument that rates could rise as soon as March has always been contingent on two factors, namely, robust labor market data and a degree of clarity on the extent of fiscal easing likely to emerge from Congress. On the first of these issues, the latest evidence is mixed.

13 September 2017 Korean Borrowing Begins to Recover, but the Fed isn't Done yet (Publication Centre)

Korean credit markets have begun tentatively to recover after the rise in global interest rates at the end of last year.

11 April 2018 Core Inflation to Rise Sharply, the Fed will be Watching Expectations (Publication Centre)

Today's March CPI ought to provide further support for the idea that the trend rate of increase in the core index is running at about 0.2% per month, an annualized rate, if sustained, of about 2.5%.

10 August 2018 Near-Term Core Inflation Risk is Modest the Fed Fears the Future (Publication Centre)

The continued modest rate of increase in unit labor costs makes it hard to worry much about the near-term outlook for core inflation.

1 November 2018 Productivity Growth is Rising the Fed's r-star Will Have to Climb too (Publication Centre)

On the heels of yesterday's benign Q3 employment costs data--wages rebounded but benefit costs slowed, and a 2.9% year-over-year rate is unthreatening--today brings the first estimates of productivity growth and unit labor costs.

14 November. 2016 How Will the Fed React to Next Year's Inflationary Shock? (Publication Centre)

Markets are beginning to grasp that President-elect Trump's economic plans, if implemented in full--or anything like it--will constitute substantial inflationary shock to the U.S.

10 July 2017 Jobs Gains to Push Unemployment Below 4%, the Fed will Hike Further (Publication Centre)

The gratifyingly strong 222K headline June payroll gain, if repeated through the second half of the year, will put unemployment below 4% by December.

10 November. 2016 How Far Will Trump Loosen Fiscal Policy? And How Will the Fed React? (Publication Centre)

Note: This updates our initial post-election thoughts, adding more detail to the fiscal policy discussion. Apologies for the density of the text, but there's a lot to say. Our core conclusions have not changed since the election result emerged. The biggest single economic policy change, by far, will be on the fiscal front.

12 Jan. 2015 - Unemployment Plunging Towards the Nairu - What Will the Fed Do? (Publication Centre)

The strength in payrolls in recent months is real. The three-month moving average increase in private payrolls now stands at 280K, despite adverse seasonal adjustments totalling 91K in the fourth quarter, compared to the same period last year.

11 Nov. 2015 Mexico Relying on the Fed - Chile Looking for China's Recovery (Publication Centre)

Mexico's inflation remains the envy of LatAm, having consistently outperformed the rest of the region this year. Headline inflation slowed marginally to 2.5% in October, a record low and below the middle of Banxico's target, 2-to-4%, for the sixth straight month. The annual core rate increased marginally to 2.5% in October from 2.4% in September, but it remains below the target and its underlying trend is inching up only at a very slow pace. We expect it to remain subdued, closing the year around 2.7% year-over-year. Next year it will gradually increase, but will stay below 3.5% during the first half of 2016, given the lack of demand pressures and the ample output gap.

11 July 2019 Only a Run of Very Strong Numbers Now Could Stop the Fed this Month (Publication Centre)

At least some investors clearly were expecting Fed Chair Powell yesterday to offer a degree of resistance to the idea that a rate cut at the end o f this month is a done deal.

13 December 2017 Will the Fed Forecast Sub-4% Unemployment Next Year? (Publication Centre)

Today's rate hike will be accompanied by a new round of Fed forecasts, which will have to reflect the faster growth and lower unemployment than expected back in September.

13 Mar. 2015 FX Markets Punish Imbalances When The Fed Hikes - Brazil At Risk (Publication Centre)

LatAm currencies have suffered in recent weeks. Each country has its own story, so the currency hit has been uneven, but all LatAm economies share one factor: Fear of the start of a Fed tightening cycle.

30 Mar. 2015 Same Old Song - The Fed and the MXN are key factors for Banxico (Publication Centre)

Mexico's central bank left its main interest rate unchanged last week, citing the need for cautious monetary policy as the economy has lost some momentum during the first months of the year, despite the risk of inflation pass-though effects from the weaker MXN.

30 June. 2016 The Fed's Focus Will Return to the Wage Outlook, Unchanged by Brexit (Publication Centre)

We aren't materially changing our U.S. economic forecasts in the wake of the U.K.'s Brexit vote, though we have revised our financial forecasts. The net tightening of financial conditions in the U.S. since the referendum is just not big enough--indeed, it's nothing like big enough--to justify moving our economic forecasts.

30 March 2017 Can Unemployment Fall to 4% or Less? What Would the Fed do? (Publication Centre)

The unemployment rate hit its post-1970 low in April 2000, at the peak of the first internet boom, when it nudged down to just 3.8%. The low in the next cycle, first reached in October 2006, was rather higher, at 4.4%.

5 February 2019 Six Days Later, We're Still Struggling to Make Sense of the Fed's Thinking (Publication Centre)

We very much doubt that Fed Chair Powell dramatically changed his position last week because President Trump repeatedly, and publicly, berated him and the idea of further increases in interest rates.

6 Jan. 2015 - How Will the Fed React to Sub- Zero Headline Inflation in Q2? (Publication Centre)

The latest drop in crude oil prices me ans that sub-zero headline CPI inflation in the spring is now more likely than not. We expect a lurch down from November's 1.3% to 0.7% in December, then 0.3% in January. The rate will remain close to that level for the next few months before hitting zero in May and slipping into negative territory--just--in June and July.

5 June 2019 The Fed will Ease if Trade Makes the Sky Fall in Otherwise, Patience (Publication Centre)

Fed Chair Powell yesterday said about as little as he could without appearing to ignore the turmoil in markets since the President announced his intention to apply tariffs to imports from Mexico: "We are closely monitoring the implications of these developments for the U.S. economic outlook and, as always, we will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion, with a strong labor market and inflation near our symmetric 2 percent objective."

30 June 2017 Core PCE Inflation set to Fall Again, but it won't Sway the Fed (Publication Centre)

We have argued recently that the year-over-year rates of core CPI and core PCE inflation could cross over the next year, with core PCE rising more quickly for the first time since 2010.

30 January 2019 Slightly Softer Language from the Fed, but no Hints of Easing (Publication Centre)

Today's FOMC meeting will be the first non-forecast meeting to be followed by a press conference.

29 April 2019 Growth Will be Slower in Q2, but not Slow, What Will the Fed Say? (Publication Centre)

The definition of "yesbutism": Noun, meaning the practice of dismissing or seeking to diminish the importance of data on the grounds that the next iteration will tell the opposite story.

27 Mar. 2015 Banxico Still Eyeing a Rate Hike After the Fed Moves in June (Publication Centre)

This week's economic data for the Mexican economy have been encouraging, especially for Banxico, which left its main interest rate unchanged yesterday at 3.0%. Inflation remained on target for the second consecutive month in the first half of February, and the closely-watched IGAE economic activity index--a monthly proxy for GDP--continued to grow at a relatively solid pace, despite the big hit from lower oil prices.

29 October 2018 The Fed Wants to See Faster Wage Growth, but its Limit is not Far Off (Publication Centre)

We want to revisit remarks from Fed Vice-Chair Clarida last week.

30 April 2018 Hospital Services Inflation is now the Biggest Near-Term Threat to the Fed (Publication Centre)

We already have a pretty good idea of what happened to consumers' spending in March, following Friday's GDP release, so the single most important number in today's monthly personal income and spending report, in our view, is the hospital services component of the deflator.

15 August. 2016 Dovish, but Vigilant Policymakers in LatAm - the Fed is the Key Risk (Publication Centre)

Last week, Banxico, the BCCh and the BCRP all left their reference rates on hold. Their currencies have remained relatively stable in recent months and inflation pressures are under control. In Mexico, Banxico has adopted a more discretionary approach, following two 50bp hikes this year.

7 Oct. 2015 Banxico Confirms No Rush to Hike Interest Rates, With the Fed on Hold (Publication Centre)

The September Banxico minutes restated that the U.S. Fed's first interest rate hike is the key event awaited by Mexican policymakers. Banxico's board of governors voted unanimously on September 21st to keep the main interest rate at a record-low 3%.

8 August. 2016 Wage Gains Set to Slide in August, Delaying the Fed Until December (Publication Centre)

We were happy to see the 255K gain in July payrolls, but we remain nervous about the sustainability of such strong numbers. The jump in employment was very large relative to some of the key survey-based indicators of the pace of hiring, even after allowing for the 29K favorable swing in the birth/ death model, compared to a year ago, and the 27K jump in state and local government education jobs, likely due to seasonal adjustment problems

CNBC - Reluctance from the Fed (Media Centre)

Ian Shepherdson, Pantheon Macroeconomics, shares his economic view of markets around the world.

CNBC - Bull markets die because the Fed kills them, says economist (Media Centre)

Ian Shepherdson, Pantheon Macroeconomics chief economist, discusses his outlook on the U.S. economy and the long-lasting bull market.

CNBC - The market doesn't think the Fed will be able to raise rates five times... (Media Centre)

Freya Beamish, chief Asia economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, analyses the latest monetary policy moves from the Bank of Japan.

CNBC The Fed is addressing the inflation rate (Media Centre)

Ian Shepherdson, Pantheon Macroeconomics chief economist, and Vinay Pande, UBS Global Wealth Management head of trading strategies, join "Squawk on the Street" to discuss their forecast for the markets amid strong jobs data.

IG - US labour market driving the need for a rate rise from the Fed (Media Centre)

Dr Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, says that while US rates will rise by 0.25% on 14th December, the central bank needs to continue to move rates up or wages will spiral up out of control.

9 November 2018 The Fed is Still on Course to Hike in December no Mention of Stocks (Publication Centre)

Convention dictates that we lead with yesterday's Fed meeting, but it's hard to argue that it really deserves top billing.

8 June. 2015 Expect more jobs reports like May's, piling pressure on the Fed (Publication Centre)

The winter hit to payrolls is now ancient history. Private employment rose by an average of 273K per month in the second half of last year, so May's 262K has restored normal service, more or less. History strongly suggests the number will be revised up, so we are happy to argue that the data convincingly support our view that the weakness in late winter and early spring was temporary, substantially due to the severe weather.

8 December. 2016 Will the Fed Move up the Dotplot in Anticipation of Fiscal Easing? (Publication Centre)

We're hearing a good deal of speculation about the dotplot after next week's FOMC meeting, with investors wondering whether the median dot will rise in anticipation of the increased inflation threat posed by substantial fiscal loosening under the new administration. We suspect not, though for the record we think that higher rate forecasts could easily be justified simply by the tightening of the labor market even before any stimulus is implemented.

8 March 2017 Could a Bad Payroll Report for February Really Stop the Fed? (Publication Centre)

With the FOMC decision now just seven days away, the forcefulness of recent Fed speakers has led many analysts to argue that only a spectacularly bad payroll report, or an external shock, can prevent a rate hike next week. External shocks are unpredictable, by definition, and we think the chance of a startlingly terrible employment report is low, though substantial sampling error does occasionally throw the numbers off-track.

9 Feb. 2015 Labor Data Forcing the Fed Into a Corner - (Publication Centre)

It's always easy to find reasons to doubt single monthly observations of any economic time series, but our first chart makes it very clear that the labor market has strengthened markedly over the past few months. The underlying trend rate of growth in private payrolls is now above 300K for the first time in exactly 20 years, and we seen no reason to expect much change over the next few months.

9 May. 2016 Banxico Will Wait for the Fed to Hike - No Reasons to Move Soon (Publication Centre)

Banxico left Mexico's benchmark interest rate at 3.75% on Thursday, maintaining its neutral tone and indicating that the balance of risks is unchanged for both inflation and growth. Policymakers remain confident that inflation will remain under control over the coming months, below 3%, but noted that they expect a brief increase above the target during Q4.

27 December 2018 The President is the Problem, not the Federal Reserve or Jay Powell (Publication Centre)

The biggest single problem for the stock market is the president.

30 August. 2016 Banxico is Waiting for Fiscal Policy Action, and the Fed (Publication Centre)

The minutes from Banxico's August 11 monetary policy meeting--in which Board members unanimously voted to keep rates on hold at 4.25%--confirmed that the bank's policy guidance remains broadly neutral. Subdued economic activity, favourable inflation and gradual fiscal consolidation explain policymakers' position.

21 Mar. 2016 The Fed Either Hopes for a Miracle or Wants Inflation to Overshoot (Publication Centre)

Fed Chair Yellen made it clear in last week's press conference that she is not convinced the increase in core inflation will persist: "I want to warn that there may be some transitory factors that are influencing [the rise in core inflation]... I see some of that is having to do with unusually high inflation readings in categories that tend to be quite volatile without very much significance for inflation over time.

21 July 2017 What to Look for from the Fed and the Data Over the next Two Weeks (Publication Centre)

Chair Yellen remains as committed as ever to the idea that the tightening labor market will eventually push up inflation, but the unexpectedly weak core CPI readings for the past four months have complicated the picture in the near-term.

21 August. 2015 What Does the Fed Need to See in Order to Hike in September? (Publication Centre)

When the Bernanke Fed embarked on the first of its 17 straight quarter-point tightenings, on 30 June 2004, the latest available GDP data showed that the economy expanded at a robust 3.9% annualized rate in the first quarter of the year. After being revised up to 4.5%, the latest estimate for growth in the first quarter of 2004 is just 2.3%.

22 July 2019 The Fed's Friday Pushback Against 50bp Makes Sense it's Too Much (Publication Centre)

With Fed officials now in pre-FOMC meeting blackout mode, this week will not bring a repeat of Friday's confusion, when the New York Fed felt obligated to issue a clarification following president William's speech on monetary policy close to the zero bound.

22 May 2019 How Much Attention is the Fed Paying to the Trimmed Mean PCE (Publication Centre)

Fed policymakers surprised no one with their May 1 statement, which acknowledged the surprisingly "solid " Q1 economic growth--at the time of the March 19-to-20 meeting, the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow model suggested Q1 growth would be just 0.6%--but stuck to its view that low inflation means the FOMC can be "patient".

23 Sept. 2015 Mexico On Hold, Keeping Calm And Still Waiting for the Fed (Publication Centre)

Banxico left Mexico's benchmark interest rate at a record low of 3% on Monday, maintaining its neutral tone and indicating that the balance of risks is unchanged for both inflation and growth. Policymakers remain confident that inflation will remain under control over the coming months, below 3% over the fourth quarter, but they repeated their message that they are vigilant to any inflation pass though from MXN depreciation into prices.

23 Sept. 2015 Expansions don't die of old age - the Fed kills them, with rates (Publication Centre)

The theory of spontaneous combustion of the U.S. economy appears to be making something of a comeback, if our inbox and market chat is to be believed. The core idea here is that expansions die of old age, and can be helped on their way to oblivion by factors like falling corporate earnings and rising inventory. The current recovery, which began in June 2009 and is now 63 months old, already looks a bit long-in-the-tooth.

23 January 2017 The Fed's Idea of Full Employment is not the Same as Main Street's (Publication Centre)

Full employment is a deceptively simple-sounding concept. If everyone who wants a job has one, the economy is at full employment, right? Anything less tends to raise eyebrows among non-economists, whether the people who want a job are formally inside the labor force, or have dropped out but would come back if they thought they could find work.

20 November 2017 Terrible Timing for Tax Cuts -- if they Pass, the Fed Will Hike More Quickly (Publication Centre)

The passage of the House tax cut bill does not guarantee that the Senate will follow suit with its own bill, still less that both chambers will then be able to agree on a single bill which can then b e signed into law. As

20 May. 2015 What Does the Fed Think Really Happened in the First Quarter? (Publication Centre)

The FOMC's statement on April 29 mentioned the winter--"...economic growth slowed during the winter months"--but did not explicitly blame any of the first quarter's weakness on the extended cold and snowy weather. That was a change from the March statement, which made no mention of the weather and gave the distinct impression that policymakers had no firm view on why growth had "moderated".

18 March 2019 Is the Fed set to Abandon its Previous Sensitivity to Wage Growth? (Publication Centre)

The rate of growth of wages has been the single best guide to Fed policy for many years.

16 June. 2015 Manufacturing is Struggling, but it Won't Get the Fed off the Hook (Publication Centre)

Another month, another sluggish performance in the manufacturing sector. Even a third straight big jump in auto output was unable to rescue the May numbers, and aggregate output fell by 0.2%. The trend in output has been broadly flat over the past six months or so, and we see little prospect of any sustained near-term recovery.

15 October 2018 The Stock Market Wobble isn't Enough to Deter the Fed (Publication Centre)

A 45bp rise in long-term interest rates--the increase between mid-August and last week's peak--ought to depress stock prices, other things equal.

19 December 2018 The Fed will Hike, but the Dots Could Sting a Shift to Two isn't Certain (Publication Centre)

From a bird's-eye perspective, the argument for continued steady Fed rate hikes is clear.

19 June. 2015 Banxico Still Waiting For the Fed's First Move In September (Publication Centre)

The June Banxico minutes restated that the U.S Fed's first interest rate increase is the main event awaited by Mexican central bank. Banxico's five member board of governors voted unanimously on June 4th to keep the overnight lending rate target at a record-low 3%, but showed again that board members are fretting over when to hike, as at previous meetings.

20 June 2019 All Eyes on Osaka, if the Trade Talks Succeed, the Fed Won't Ease in July (Publication Centre)

The tone of Fed Chair Powell's opening comments at the press conference yesterday was much more dovish than the statement, which did little more than most analysts expected.

20 April 2018 Soaring Hospital Inflation Soon to be a Problem for the Fed? (Publication Centre)

The biggest surprise in the recent inflation numbers has been the surge in the PCE measure of hospital services costs, where the year-over-year rate has jumped to 3.8% in February, an eight-year high, from just 1.3% in September.

19 Mar. 2015 Reluctant Tighteners, but the Fed Will Have to Move - June Still Live (Publication Centre)

The FOMC gave every impression yesterday that it was collectively very reluctant to drop "patient" from the statement--presumably, members conceded that the surge in employment growth left them no choice--and then did its very best to pretend that the change in the language didn't mean very much.

24 July. 2015 While We're Out, What to Look for in the Data, and From the Fed (Publication Centre)

This is the last Monitor before we head to the beach, so we want to offer a few thoughts on the upcoming data and the FOMC meeting while we're out. First, a warning about the second quarter GDP number. We think that the data released so far are consistent with growth at about 3%.

22 Feb. 2016 The Fed is Ahead of the Curve but Behind the Economy (Publication Centre)

Here's something we didn't expect to write: The CPI measure of goods prices, excluding food and energy, rose in the three months to January, compared to the previous three months. OK, the increase was marginal, a mere 0.3%, but conventional wisdom has assumed for some time that the strong dollar would push goods prices down indefinitely.

26 February 2019 The Impending China Trade Deal will Pose Questions for the Fed (Publication Centre)

A trade deal with China is in sight. President Trump tweeted Sunday that the planned increase in tariffs on $200B of Chinese imports to 25% from 10%, due March 1, has been deferred--no date was specified-- in light of the "substantial progress" in the talks.

24 September 2018 How can the Fed Slow the Economy when the Private Sector is so Strong? (Publication Centre)

The big difference between economic cycles in developed and emerging markets is that recessions in the former tend to be driven by the unwinding of imbalances only in the private sector, usually in the wake of a tightening of monetary policy.

6 March 2017 Fed Fears Hit LatAm FX Last Week - is a Renewed Sell-off Coming? (Publication Centre)

LatAm assets have struggled in recent days as it has become clear that the Fed will hike next week. But we don't expect currencies to collapse, as domestic fundamentals are improving and the broader external outlook is relatively benign.

27 September 2018 Fed Confirms December Rate Hike (Publication Centre)

The Fed is on course to hike again in December, with 12 of the 16 FOMC forecasters expecting rates to end the year 25bp higher than the current 2-to-21⁄4%; back in June, just eight expected four or more hikes for the year.

28 August. 2015 Fed Delay Until December Will Be Positive For LatAm Markets - Just (Publication Centre)

Multiple factors have shaken LatAm financial markets this week. China's market turmoil, commodity price oscillations, currency volatility, and political mayhem in every corner of the region, have all conspired against markets. But market chaos has also driven some central banks to rethink their monetary policy plans. For EM, in particular for LatAm, the stance of the Federal Reserve is key, given the region's close ties to the U.S., and the dollar.

6 March 2017 Yellen Effectively Promises a March Hike, with Good Reason (Publication Centre)

Fed Chair Yellen's speech Friday was remarkably blunt: "Indeed, at our meeting later this month, the Committee will evaluate whether employment and inflation are continuing to evolve in line with our expectations, in which case a further adjustment of the federal funds rate would likely be appropriate."

9 Mar. 2015 Surging Job Gains, and Sub-Nairu Unemployment to Force June Hike (Publication Centre)

In the wake of the February employment report, the implied probability of a June rate hike, measured by the fed funds future, jumped to 89% from 71%. The market now shows the chance of a funds rate at 75bp by the end of the year at just over 60%. That still looks low to us, but it is a big change and we very much doubt it represents the end of the shift in expectations.

28 June 2019 Downside Risk for the core PCE Deflator, Again, Expect H2 Rebound (Publication Centre)

The downshift in core PCE inflation this year has unnerved the Fed, along with the intensification of the trade war and slower global growth.

Financial Times - Analysts weighs in on 'status quo' round of Fed minutes (Media Centre)

Chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson comments on the Fed Monetary Policy Meeting in March

New York Times - Fed Predicts Modest Economic Growth From Tax Cut (Media Centre)

Chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson on the Fed's growth forecast

7 Dec. 2015 After the First Hike, Next Week, Wage Gains Will Set the Pace (Publication Centre)

We're guessing Fed Chair Yellen would have preferred to have another acceleration in hourly earnings and a dip in the unemployment rate along side the hefty 211K leap in November payrolls, but no matter. At its October meeting, the Fed wanted to see "some further improvement in the labor market", and by any reasonable standard a 509K total increase in payrolls in two months fits the bill.

7 December 2016 Brazil's Copom is Ready to Act Boldly, but Politics Pose Risks (Publication Centre)

In Brazil, the minutes of the Copom's November meeting, released yesterday, are consistent with our forecast for a 50bp rate cut in January. At its last two meetings, the BCB cut the Selic rate by only 25bp, to 13.75%, amid concerns about services inflation, global uncertainty, and the Fed's likely rate hike next week.

7 November. 2016 Wage Gains Will Focus Fed Minds (Publication Centre)

If the Fed needed further encouragement to raise rates next month, it arrived Friday in the form of solid jobs numbers, a new cycle low for the broad unemployment rate, and a new cycle high for wage growth.

27 Apr. 2016 FOMC Statement Today Likely to Offer Little to Rate Hawks (Publication Centre)

A rate hike today would be a surprise of monumental proportions, and the Yellen Fed is not in that business. What matters to markets, then, is the language the Fed uses to describe the soft-looking recent domestic economic data, the upturn in inflation, and, critically, policymakers' views of the extent of global risks.

27 January 2017 Q4 Growth Likely Hit by Foreign Trade, Temporarily (Publication Centre)

We expect to learn today that the economy expanded at a 1.7% rate in the fourth quarter. At least, that's our forecast, based on incomplete data, and revisions over time could easily push growth significantly away from this estimate. The inherent unreliability of the GDP numbers, which can be revised forever--literally--explains why the Fed puts so much more emphasis on the labor market data, which are volatile month-to-month but more trustworthy over longer periods and subject to much smaller revisions.

27 May. 2015 Seasonal Biases Set to Lead to GDP Growth Restatement (Publication Centre)

The news that the seasonal adjustments in the GDP numbers are even less reliable than previously thought means the Fed likely will put even greater emphasis on the labor market when pondering when to begin raising rates. A cost-push view of the inflation process necessarily centers on the labor data, but every FOMC statement begins with an assessment of the overall pace of growth.

7 August 2017 While we were Out... (Publication Centre)

...The Fed did nothing, surprising no-one; the labor market tightened further; the housing market tracked sideways; survey data mostly slipped a bit; and oil prices jumped nearly $4, briefly nudging above $50 for the first time since May.

8 November 2018 Fed on Hold Today, but Zero Real Rates won't Slow the Labor Market (Publication Centre)

The Fed today will do nothing to rates and won't materially change the language of the post-meeting statement.

6 February 2019 Don't Worry About the Tightening of Bank C&I Lending Standards (Publication Centre)

We are not concerned by the very modest tightening in business lending standards reported in the Fed's quarterly survey of senior loan officers, published on Monday.

29 Feb. 2016 Core PCE Inflation Will Breach the Target This Year, Two Years Early (Publication Centre)

When we argue that the Fed will have to respond to accelerating wages and core prices by raising rates faster than markets expect, a frequent retort is that the Fed has signalled a greater tolerance than in the past for inflation overshoots.

5 July 2017 The ECB Needs a Weaker Euro in Q3 to Keep its Core CPI Forecast (Publication Centre)

Currency markets often make a mockery of consensus forecasts, and this year has been no exception. Monetary policy divergence between the U.S. and the Eurozone has widened this year; the spread between the Fed funds rate and the ECB's refi rate rose to a 10-year high after the Fed's last hike.

U.S. Datanote: U.S. Employment, June (Publication Centre)

In one line: Not enough alone to stop the Fed easing this month.

30 May 2017 How Durable is the Euro's Rally Against the Dollar? (Publication Centre)

Fiscal stimulus, partly financed by a border adjustment tax, and Fed rate hikes, were supposed to be a powerful cocktail driving a stronger dollar in 2017. But so far only the Fed has delivered--we expect another rate hike next month--while Mr. Trump has disappointed in the White House.

31 May. 2016 Banxico is Managing the Peso, Not the Business Cycle, For Now (Publication Centre)

Banxico's quarterly inflation report, released last week, underscored concerns over growth as well as the weakness of the MXN and the risks p osed by the Fed's imminent tightening. Policymakers downgraded Mexico's GDP forecast for 2017 to 2.3-to-3.3% year-over-year, from 2.5-to-3.5%. Weaker-than-expected U.S. manufacturing activity is behind the downshift.

5 December 2018 "Tariff Man" Doesn't Understand Tariffs that's Unfortunate (Publication Centre)

The key data originally scheduled for today--ADP employment and the ISM non-manufacturing survey, and the revised Q3 productivity and unit labor costs-- have been pushed to Thursday because the federal government will be closed for the National Day of Mourning for president George H. W. Bush.

4 May 2017 Fed on Hold Today After Mixed Data, but a June Hike Still Looks Likely (Publication Centre)

The Fed surprised no-one yesterday, leaving rates on hold, saying nothing new about the balance sheet, and making no substantive changes to its view on the economy. The statement was tweaked slightly, making it clear that policymakers are skeptical of the reported slowdown in GDP growth to just 0.7% in Q1: "The Committee views the slowing in growth during the first quarter as likely to be transitory".

4 November. 2016 Markets Stress in LatAm Increases as Fed and U.S. Election Loom (Publication Centre)

LatAm markets and central banks have been paying close attention to developments in the U.S. The FOMC left rates on hold on Wednesday, as expected, but underscored its core view that inflation will rise in the medium-term, requiring gradual increases in the fed funds rate.

8 July 2019 50 is Off the Table, Would Strong Sales and Inflation Data Kill the 25? (Publication Centre)

The June employment report pretty much killed the idea that the Fed will cut rates by 50bp on July 31.

U.S. Datanote: Chair Powell Speech (Publication Centre)

In one line: The Fed will use its room for maneuver to ease again next month, but the data don't justify aggressive rate cuts.

29 Oct. 2015 All Fed Eyes Now on the October, November Employment Reports (Publication Centre)

The Fed yesterday toned down its warnings on the potential impact on the U.S. of "global economic and financial developments", and upgraded its view on the domestic economy, pointing out that consumption and fixed investment "have been increasing at solid rates in recent months". In September, they were merely growing "moderately". Policymakers are still "monitoring" global and market developments, but the urgency and fear of September has gone. The statement acknowledged the slower payroll gains of recent months--without offering an explanation--but pointed out, as usual, that "underutilization of labor resources has diminished since early this year" and that it will be appropriate to begin raising rates "some further improvement in the labor market".

29 Jan. 2015 Fed Upgrades its Growth View - Markets Look Elsewhere (Publication Centre)

The Fed left in place the three key elements of its statement yesterday, repeating that the extent of labor market under-utilization is "diminishing"; that the inflation drop as a result of falling oil prices will be "transitory" and that the Fed can be "patient" before starting to raise rates.

U.S. Webinar - Q4, 2018 (Publication Centre)

Is the Fed Right to Worry About Future Inflation Risk?

3 July 2017 Three Jobs Reports in Nine Weeks set to Shift Market Rate Expectations (Publication Centre)

The next nine weeks bring three jobs reports, which will determine whether the Fed hikes again in September, as we expect, and will also help shape market expectations for December and beyond.

9 Nov. 2015 Fed Set to Hike in December, and then Faster than Markets Expect (Publication Centre)

At a stroke, the October payroll report returned the short-term trend in payroll growth to the range in place since 2011, pushed the unemployment rate into the lower part of the Fed's Nairu range, and lifted the year-over-year rate of growth of hourly earnings to a six-year high. The FOMC has never quantitatively defined what it means by "some further improvement in the labor market", its condition for increasing rates, but if the October report does not qualify, it's hard to know what might fit the bill. We expect a 25bp increase in December.

3 November. 2016 Rates Will Rise in December, If Events Don't Intervene (Publication Centre)

The Fed left rates on hold yesterday, as expected, repeating its long-held core view that inflation will rise to 2% in the medium-term, requiring gradual increases in the fed funds rate.

3 May 2017 Fed on Hold Today After Mixed Data, but a June Hike Still Looks Likely (Publication Centre)

The Fed likely will do nothing today, both in terms of interest rates and substantive changes to the statement. We'd be very surprised to hear anything new on the Fed's plans for its balance sheet.

28 Sept. 2015 Don't Believe Case-Shiller Home Price Data - Prices are Rising (Publication Centre)

Former Treasury Secretary and thwarted would-be Fed Chair Larry Summers has been arguing for some time that the Fed should not raise rates "...until it sees the whites of inflation's eyes". As part of his campaign to persuade actual Fed Chair Yellen of the error of her intended ways, he argued at the World Economic Forum in September that the strong dollar has played no role in depressing inflation. Never one to miss an opportunity to diss the competition, he wrote that Stanley Fischer's view that the dollar has indeed restrained inflation is "substantially weakened" by the hard evidence. Dr. Summers' view is that inflation is being held down by other, longer-lasting factors, principally the slack in the lab or market, rather than the "transitory" influences favored by the Fed.

23 September. 2016 The MXN Will Remain a Victim of Collateral Risk This Year (Publication Centre)

The risk of higher US rates put LatAm currencies under pressure during the first half of the week, before the US FOMC meeting on Wednesday. But they recovered some ground yesterday, following the Fed's decision to leave rates on hold.

12 Oct. 2015 Fed Minutes Bring Temporary Relief to Besieged LatAm Markets (Publication Centre)

In recent weeks LatAm's currencies and stock markets, together with key commodity prices, have risen as financial markets' expectations for a rate increase by the Fed this year have faded. The COP has risen 8.5% over the last month, the MXN is up 2.5%, the CLP has climbed 1.4% and the PEN has been practically stable against the USD. The minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest meeting added strength to this market's view, showing that policymakers postponed an interest rate hike as they worried about a global slowdown, particularly China, the strong USD and the impact of the drop in stock prices.

12 July. 2016 Do Pricing Distortions Mean We Should Ignore Weak Help Wanted? (Publication Centre)

Judging from our inbox, economy bulls are pinning a great deal of hope on the idea that the collapse in the Help Wanted Online index is misleading, because the index is subject to distortions caused by shifts in pricing behavior in the online job advertising business. These distortions were analyzed in a recent Fed paper--click here to read on the Fed's website-- which makes a convincing case that at least some of the decline in the HWOL over the past half-year represents a change in recruiters' behavior rather than slowing in labor demand.

12 October. 2016 After High Volatility in Q4, LatAm Currencies Will Strengthen in 2017 (Publication Centre)

Investors will increase their focus on exchange rates as the US presidential election and the Fed's next rate hike approach. Markets are becoming concerned that a surge in the USD could trigger another spike in LatAm currency volatility, depressing the good year- to-date performance of most local market assets.

13 July 2017 Yellen Expects the Labor Market to Tighten Further, and Rates to Rise (Publication Centre)

Chair Yellen broke no new ground in her Testimony yesterday, repeating her long-standing view that the tightening labor market requires the Fed to continue normalizing policy at a gradual pace.

13 June 2018 No Fourth Dot, and no Substantive Change in the Statement is Likely (Publication Centre)

We previewed the FOMC meeting in detail in the Monitor on Monday--see here--but, to reiterate, we expect rates to rise by 25bp but that the Fed will not add a fourth dot to the projections for this year.

13 July. 2015 Dull Yellen Testimony Given Greek Story - then Back to Labor Data? (Publication Centre)

We expect Greece to do what it needs to do by Wednesday to secure its third bailout, and, judging by her speech in Cleveland last Friday, so does the Fed Chair. It's always risky to assume blithely that European politicians will do the right thing in the end, and they seem absolutely determined to humiliate Greece before writing the checks, but a completed deal is the most likely outcome.

11 Jan. 2016 Brazil's Inflation Hits a 13-Year High - Copom Will Hike Again (Publication Centre)

Last week's events highlighted the seriously challenging global environment for LatAm equities and currencies. Trading in Chinese shares was stopped twice early last week, after falls greater than 7% of the CSI 300 index reverberated around the world. Markets were calmer on Friday but the volatility nevertheless reminded investors that LatAm's economies are floating in rough waters and their resilience will be put to the test again this year. The Fed's policy normalization, the unwinding of the leverage in EM, the continued slowdown of the Chinese economy, low commodity prices and currency depreciation are all real threats across the continent.

11 Dec. 2015 The MPC is Independent, But it Cannot Ignore Other Central Banks (Publication Centre)

The MPC's asserted its independence in the minutes of December's meeting, firmly stating that there is "no mechanical link between UK policy and those of other central banks". Markets have interpreted this as supporting their view that the MPC won't be rushed into raising interest rates by the Fed's actions. Investors now expect a nine-month gap between the Fed hike we anticipate next week, and the first move in the U.K.

10 Dec. 2015 Does the Case for Permanently Much Lower Real Rates Stand Up? (Publication Centre)

Larry Summers stirred the pot yet again with an article in the FT at the weekend, arguing that because the Fed typically eases by more than 300bp to pull the economy out of recession, "the chances are very high that recession will come before there is room to cut rates enough to offset it". This follows from his view that the neutral level of real short rates has fallen so far that "the odds are the Fed will not be able to raise rates 100 basis points a year without threatening to undermine recovery".

10 August. 2015 While We Were Out... (Publication Centre)

...The Fed told investors that it now requires only "some further improvement" in labor market conditions before starting to raise rates-- the "some" is new--but did not set out any specific conditions. With the unemployment rate now just a tenth above the top of the Fed's Nairu range, 5.0-to-5.2%, and very likely to dip into it by the time of the decision on September 17, while payroll growth is trending solidly above 200K per month, rates already would have been raised some time ago in previous cycles.

10 January 2018 Price-Level Targeting isn't Coming Soon, it's Likely not Coming at all (Publication Centre)

Judging from our inbox, the idea that the Fed might switch to some form of price level targeting, replacing its current 2% inflation target, is the big new idea for 2018.

10 July. 2015 June's Inflation Data Underlines Divergent Monetary Paths Ahead (Publication Centre)

Brazil's central bank has ignored, so far, the severe economic downturn and has continued its aggressive monetary tightening in order to regain credibility and curb stubbornly high inflation. In contrast, Mexico's central bank is in an enviable position, with inflation below target and under control. Its monetary policy is mainly dependent on the Fed's rate normalization.

11 Apr. 2016 Stronger Growth and Accelerating Wages Will Shift Rate Sentiment (Publication Centre)

A reader sent us last week a series of five simple feedback loops, all of which ended with the Fed remaining "cautious". For example, in a scenario in which the dollar strengthens--perhaps because of stronger U.S. economic data--markets see an increased risk of a Chinese devaluation, which then pummels EM assets, making the Fed nervous about global growth risks to the domestic economy.

10 June. 2015 Tightening Labor market pushing up small firms' pricing plans? (Publication Centre)

The May NFIB survey and the April JOLTS report, both released yesterday, paint a coherent, if not yet definitive, picture of labor market developments which should alarm the Fed. The data suggest that the true labor supply, in the eyes of potential employers, is much smaller than implied by the BLS's measures of broad unemployment.

13 June. 2016 Banxico's Dilemma: Help the Recovery or Support the MXN? (Publication Centre)

Markets are still discounting Banxico rate increases in the near term, despite the fact that Mexico's inflation is under control. Unless the MXN goes significantly above 18.7 per USD in the near term, or activity accelerates, we see little scope for rate increases until after the Fed hikes. After May's soft U.S. payrolls, and in light of the economic and financial risk posed by the U.K. referendum, we think a hike this week is unlikely.

13 May. 2015 Fed Lift Off Slightly Delayed - Breathing Space for LatAm? (Publication Centre)

The US employment data last week reduced further the likelihood of a June Fed rate increase. In turn, this changes the likely timing of the normalization process in some LatAm economies. Our Chief Economist, Ian Shepherdson, expects the Fed to start its normalization process in July or September; the strength of the employment data will prevent any postponement beyond the third quarter.

15 February 2018 One Outsized Core CPI Gain does not Make a Trend, it Looks Like Noise (Publication Centre)

The January core CPI numbers are consistent with our view that the U.S. faces bigger upside inflation risks than markets and the Fed believe.

14 September 2017 August Core CPI Set to Mean-Revert to 0.2% as Temporary Factors Fade? (Publication Centre)

After five straight undershoots to consensus, with the core CPI averaging monthly gains of just 0.05%, investors are asking hard questions about the Fed's belief -- and ours -- that core inflation is headed towards 2% in the not-too-distant future.

15 July. 2016 Autos Will Depress Headline June Spending, Core Picture is Fine (Publication Centre)

When the dust settles after today's wave of data, we expect to have learned that core retail sales continued to rise in June, core inflation nudged back up to its cycle high, and manufacturing output rebounded after an auto-led drop in May. None of these reports will be enough to push the Fed into early action, but they will add to the picture of a reasonably solid domestic economy ahead of the U.K. Brexit referendum.

15 June 2017 Yellen to Markets: Core Inflation is Noisy, the Labor Market is the Key (Publication Centre)

The Fed's action, statement, and forecasts, and Chair Yellen's press conference, made it very clear the Fed is torn between the dovish signals from the recent core inflation data, and the much more hawkish message coming from the rapid decline in the unemployment rate.

15 June. 2015 Unwinding the Double Delusion - Brace for Rising Rate Expectations (Publication Centre)

Markets don't believe the Fed's interest rate forecasts. For the fourth quarter of this year, that's probably right; the FOMC's median projection back in March was 0.63%; that will likely be revised down this week. For the next two years, though, things are different.

15 June 2018 The PBoC Throws Out the Housekeeping Growth is Slowing (Publication Centre)

The PBoC has left rates unchanged, so far, in the wake of the Fed hike.

14 Sept. 2015 Fed Likely on Hold this Week, but Action is Merely Deferred (Publication Centre)

This could have been a momentous week, but now it very likely will be just another week with another Fed meeting where rates are left on hold. Our call has very little to do with the underlying state of the economy, which we think can cope with higher rates, and needs them, given the tightness of the labor market. Instead, the story is all about the perceptions--misplaced, in our view--of both the Fed and the markets.

26 Oct. 2015 MPC Can't Wait too Long After the U.S. Fed Raises Rates (Publication Centre)

Markets currently judge that U.K. interest rates will rise about six months after the first Fed hike. But the Bank of England seldom lagged this far behind in the past. Admittedly, the slowdown in the domestic economy that we expect will require the Monetary Policy Committee to be cautious. But wage and exchange rate pressures are likely to mean six months is the maximum period the MPC can wait before following the Fed's lead.

14 Dec. 2015 Can Eurozone Equities Withstand Global Headwinds Next Year? (Publication Centre)

Barring a gigantic shock from the Fed this week--we expect a 25bp hike--Eurozone equities will end the year with a solid return for investors, who have been overweight. Total return of the MSCI EU ex-UK should come in around 10%, which compares to a likely flat return for the MSCI World, reflecting the boost from the ECB's QE driving out performance. Our first chart shows the index has been mainly lifted by consumer sector, healthcare and IT stocks, comfortably making up for weakness in materials and energy. The year has been a story of two halves, however, and global headwinds have intensified since the summer, partly offsetting the surge in the Q1 as markets celebrated the arrival of QE and negative interest rates.

13 Oct. 2015 Could Higher Rates Really "Spur" Faster Economic Growth? (Publication Centre)

What should we make of the view of Fed hawks, set out with admirable clarity in the September FOMC minutes, that higher rates "might spur rather than restrain economic activity"? The core story behind this counter-intuitive proposal is the idea that zero rates send a signal to the private sector that the Fed is deeply worried about the state of the economy.

14 December. 2016 No Change in Median Dots, Yellen Will Stonewall on Fiscal Easing (Publication Centre)

The Fed will raise rates by 25bp today, but we expect no change in the median expectation-the dotplot-for two rate hikes both next year and in 2018. We fully appreciate that fiscal easing on the scale proposed by President-elect Trump, or indeed anything like it, very likely would propel inflation to a pace requiring much bigger increases in rates.

14 Jan. 2015 - Small Firms Recovery Accelerates, but Labor Costs are Rising (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's data were second-tier in the eyes of the markets, but not, perhaps in the eyes of the Fed. The continued surge in job openings, which reached a 14-year high in December, means that the Beveridge Curve--which links the number of job openings to the unemployment rate--shows no signs at all of returning to normal.

14 June 2017 Fed to Stick to One More 2017 Hike After Today, and Three More in 2018 (Publication Centre)

The Fed will hike by 25 basis points today, but what really matters is what they say about the future, both in the language of the statement and in the dotplot for this year and next.

1 August 2018 Expect a Placeholder Statement from the FOMC Today (Publication Centre)

The Fed shifted its stance significantly in June, so we're expecting only trivial changes in today's statement.

08 Mar. 2016 Can the Spike in Labor Market Participation be Sustained? (Publication Centre)

It's very tempting to look at the upturn in the participation rate in recent months and extrapolate it into a sustained upward trend. If the trend were to rise quickly enough, it conceivably could prevent any further fall in the unemployment rate, preventing it falling below the bottom of the Fed's estimated Nairu range.

*Jan. 2017 - U.S. Economic Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

The Fed is fretting over fiscal easing......upside risk to growth, inflation and interest rates

*February 2019 - U.S. Economic Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

The Fed Is All-In On The Slowdown Story...But They're Playing With Fire In The Labor Market

*July 2017 - U.S.. Economic Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

The Fed plans to keep on hiking...falling unemployment is the key, not the softer CPI

*June 2017 - U.S.. Economic Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

The Payroll "Slowdown" Won't Last... The Fed Will Hike This Month, and Again Later This Year

*March 2017 - U.S. Economic Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

The Fed Is On Course For Four Hikes This Year...And Another Four In 2018

*June 2019 - U.S. Economic Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

The fed is in a double bind: what to expect, and what to do

*Feb 2017 - U.S. Economic Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

How and when will the Fed respond to Fiscal Easing?

*December 2018 - U.S. Economic Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

The Slowdown Story is Overdone...If a China Deal is Done, the Fed Will Keep Hiking

*April 2018 - U.S. Economic Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

Trade talk and falling stocks are hurting...but the fed is still on course for four hikes this year

*April 2017 - U.S.. Economic Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

The Tightening Labor Market is all that Matters...Expect the Fed to Hike at Each Quarter-End

*August 2018 - U.S. Economic Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

The fed will keep hiking each quarter...they are chasing unemployment, not inflation

*August 2019 - U.S. Economic Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

The domestic business cycle doesn't matter, yet: Global Growth and the Trade War are driving the Fed

*December 2017 - U.S. Economic Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

Growth, inflation to challenge the Fed in 2018...faster wage growth will push them too

*Dec. 2016 - U.S. Economic Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

Brace for the Fed's Pushback...But only when Fiscal Easing is in front of Congress

*March 2019 - U.S. Economic Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

"Cross-Currents" Will Keep the Fed Safe For Now....But The Headwinds Already Are Starting To Ease

*May 2017 - U.S.. Economic Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

Don't be distracted by weak first quarter GDP...The Fed doesn't care (much)

*September 2019 - U.S. Economic Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

Serious downside risks to growth are mounting...but the fed can't ignore rising inflation risks

*September 2018 - U.S. Economic Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

The Fed is Not Nearly Done...Real Rates are Still Far Too Low; No Slowdown in Sight

01 May. 2015 Brazil's two-year tightening cycle is over, at least for now (Publication Centre)

While we were out, monetary policy in Latin America was unchanged, except in Brazil, where the Monetary Policy Committee--Copom--this week raised the Selic rate by 50bp to 13.25%, in line with expectations. Looking ahead, we now expect no changes in policy in Brazil or elsewhere over the next few months, or at least until the Fed starts hiking rates.

03 Feb. 2016 Stan Fischer Wants Steady 3% Wage Gains - Good Luck (Publication Centre)

Stanley Fischer said something interesting and potentially very revealing in the Q&A following his speech Tuesday afternoon at the Council on Foreign Relations. The Fed Vice-Chair argued that wage increases of 3% are "where people would like to be", meaning, presumably, that he believes sustained wage gains at this pace are consistent with the Fed's 2% medium-term inflation forecast.

07 May. 2015 How Far Will Yields Rise When the Activity Data Turn Higher? (Publication Centre)

Along with just about every other commentator and market participant, we have been wondering in recent months how longer Treasuries would react to the Fed starting to raise rates at the same time the ECB and BoJ are pumping new money into their economies via QE.

05 August. 2015 Corporate Bonds are Struggling, But QE and ZIRP offer Support (Publication Centre)

A looming rate lift-off at the Fed, chaos in Greece, and a renewed rout in commodities have given credit markets plenty to worry about this year. The Bloomberg global high yield index is just about holding on to a 0.7% gain year-to-date, but down 2.5% since the middle of May. The picture carries over to the euro area where the sell-off is worse than during the taper tantrum in 2013.

*September 2017 - U.S.. Economic Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

Harvey and Irma will shred late q3/q4 data... ...if the fed doesn't hike in December, they will in march

*October 2019 - U.S. Economic Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

A Grinding Slowdown Is Now Our Base Case....But Higher Inflation Will Constrain The Fed

*November 2017 - U.S.. Economic Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

Sub -4% Unemployment is coming, and soon...How will the Fed respond?

*Nov. 2015 - U.S. Economic Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

Focussed on the Macro: The Fed will soon hike, despite soft manufacturing

*November 2018 - U.S. Economic Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

Growth Has Peaked as the Tax Cut Boost Fades...But the Labor Market is Keeping the Fed on Track

*Oct. 2015 - U.S. Economic Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

Focussed on the Macro: The Fed will soon hike, despite soft manufacturing

*October 2018 - U.S. Economic Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

A Serious Slowdown is Still Some Way Off...So the Fed has to Keep Turning the Screws

15 June. 2016 Fed on Hold, and Unlikely Clearly to Signal a July Hike (Publication Centre)

We expect the Fed to leave rates on hold today, but the FOMC's new forecasts likely will continue to show policymakers expect two hikes this year, unchanged from the March projections. We remain of the view that September is the more likely date for the next hike, because we think sluggish June payrolls will prevent action in July.

14 June 2018 Four Dots for 2018, and a Hawkish Tilt in the Statement (Publication Centre)

The Fed was more hawkish than we expected yesterday.

21 June 2017 Q3 LatAm FX Will be Driven by Fundamentals and Commodities (Publication Centre)

LatAm investors' concerns about U.S. monetary policy expectations and the broad direction of the USD should on the back burner until the Fed hikes again, likely in September. This will leave room for country-specific drivers to take centre stage. That should support Mexico's MXN, which already has risen 14% year-to-date against the USD, erasing its losses after the US election last November.

15 March 2017 Rates Will Rise by 25bp Today, but Extra Dots More Likely in June (Publication Centre)

The Fed will hike by 25 basis points today, citing the tightening labor market as the key reason to press ahead with the process of policy normalization. We think the case for adding an extra dot to the plot for both this year and next is powerful.

21 March 2017 The Debt Ceiling is Back, but no Crisis Likely Until the Fall (Publication Centre)

The federal debt ceiling was re-imposed last week, with no fanfare, and no reaction in the markets. All eyes were focussed instead on the Fed's rate hike and Chair Yellen's press conference.

21 Sept. 2015 Fed Abstention Increases the Risk of More QE from the ECB this Year (Publication Centre)

ECB growth bears looking for the Fed to move in order to take the sting out of the euro's recent strength were disappointed last week. The FOMC refrained from a hike, referring to the risk that slowing growth in China and emerging markets could "restrain economic activity" and put "downward pressure on inflation in the near term." In doing so, the Fed had an eye on the same global risks as the ECB, highlighting increased fears of deflation risks in China, despite a rosier domestic outlook.

21 September. 2016 No Hike Today, but the Door Will be Left Wide Open (Publication Centre)

We would be very surprised if the Fed were to raise rates today. The Yellen Fed is not in the business of shocking markets, and with the fed funds future putting the odds of a hike at just 22%, action today would assuredly come as a shock, with adverse consequences for all dollar assets.

21 Sept. 2015 Fed Delays Interest Rate Liftoff - LatAm Breathes a Sigh Of Relief (Publication Centre)

The Fed deferred, but did not cancel, the start of its rate normalization last week. As a consequence, December is now the most likely meeting for the first hike. The Fed's core view of the U.S. economy remains the same, but policymakers want a bit more time to see how global developments affect the U.S. Our Chief Economist, Ian Shepherdson, expects the strength of the employment data, better Chinese numbers and calm financial markets to prevent any further postponement beyond Q4.

21 Dec. 2015 Corporations Still Over-leveraged, but Little Near-Term Danger? (Publication Centre)

The markets' favorite story of the moment, aside from the Fed, seems to be the idea that overstretched corporate finances are an accident waiting to happen. When the crunch comes, the unavoidable hit to the stock market and the corporate bond market will have dire consequences, limiting the Fed's scope to raise rates, regardless of what might be happening in the labor market. We don't buy this. At least, we don't buy the second part of the narrative; we have no problem with the idea the finances of the corporate sector are shaky.

20 September 2017 The MXN Remains Strong, but Further Upside Potential is Modest (Publication Centre)

Banxico's tightening cycle has totalled 400 basis points, lifting rates to 7.0%. Since late 2015, Banxico has followed the Fed closely, but other external factors also have guided many of its decisions.

2 May 2018 The BoK is on a Mission, and will Hike in May, it's not About Inflation (Publication Centre)

We expect the BoK to hike this month, believing that it's necessary to curtail household debt growth now, in order to prevent a sharper economic slowdown as the Fed hiking cycle continues, China slows, and trade risks unfold.

2 May 2018 Fed to Acknowledge Higher In ation, but no Policy Shi Signal is Likely (Publication Centre)

The Fed will do nothing and say little that's new after its meeting today. The data on economic activity have been mixed since the March meeting, when rates were hiked and the economic forecasts were upgraded, largely as a result of the fiscal stimulus.

2 May 2019 Powell Pushes Back on Low Q1 Inflation Fed Base Case Unchanged (Publication Centre)

The Fed yesterday acknowledged clearly the new economic information of recent months, namely, that first quarter GDP growth was "solid", with Chair Powell noting that it was stronger than most forecasters expected.

20 Mar. 2015 Earnings and Treasuries at Risk, but the ECB's QE is a Wild Card (Publication Centre)

Under normal circumstances, we would have no hesitation calling for substantially higher long Treasury yields and a lower earnings multiple as the Fed raises rates. History tells us that you fight the Fed at your peril, as our first two charts show.

20 Mar. 2015 LatAm FX Rally After Fed's Signal, But Relief Will be Temporary (Publication Centre)

The global economy is heading towards a new scenario, triggered by the impending start of the monetary policy normalization process in the U.S. In some major economies, notably the Eurozone, the Fed's actions will not derail or even jeopardize the cyclical economic upturn.

22 December 2017 Strong November Consumption Sets Course for 3½% Q4 Gain? (Publication Centre)

This is the final U.S. Economic Monitor of 2017, a year which has seen the economy strengthen, the labor market tighten substantially, and the Fed raise rates three times, with zero deleterious effect on growth.

22 January 2018 The Government Shutdown is Theater, but Could Become a Threat (Publication Centre)

As we reach our Sunday afternoon deadline, no deal has been reached to re-open the federal government.

24 Nov. 2015 Q3 Growth Will be Revised Up, but 2015 Will Fall Short (Publication Centre)

An array of data today will be mostly positive, and even the most likely candidate for a downside surprise--the October advance trade numbers--is very unlikely to change anyone's mind on the Fed's December decision. On the plus side, the first revision to third quarter GDP growth should see the headline number dragged up into almost respectable territory, at 2.4%, from the deeply underwhelming 1.5% initial estimate.

24 June. 2016 Brexit Implications for the U.S: No Immediate Fed Easing (Publication Centre)

The U.K.'s unexpected vote for Brexit means a stronger dollar for the foreseeable future, a sharp though likely containable drop in U.S. stock prices, and a further delay before the Fed next raises rates. The vote does not necessarily mean the U.K. actually will leave the EU, because the policy choices now facing leaders of Union have changed dramatically. An offer of substantial concessions on the migration issue--the single biggest driver of the Leave vote-- might be enough to trigger a second referendum, but this is a consideration for another day.

25 April 2017A Government Shutdown Would Say More About Politics Than Economics (Publication Centre)

A shutdown of the federal government, which could happen as early as this weekend, is a political event rather than a macroeconomic shock. But if it happens--if Congress cannot agree on even a shortterm stop-gap spending measure in order to keep the lights on after the 28th--it would demonstrate yet again that the splits in the House mean that the prospects of a substantial near-term loosening of fiscal policy are now very slim.

25 Feb. 2015 Yellen Bullish on Growth and Jobs - "Patient" Set to Go in March? (Publication Centre)

Chair Yellen's Testimony sought clearly to tell markets that the Fed has upgraded its view on growth, and the state of the labor market. After reading the first few paragraphs, which focussed clearly on the good news, though peppered with the usual caveats, the door was open for the section on policy to signal unambiguously that the Fed is close to its first tightening.

25 June. 2015 When Will Small Firms Run Out of Labor Market Insiders to Hire? (Publication Centre)

The high and rising proportion of small businesses reporting difficulty in filling job openings is perhaps the biggest reason to worry that the pace of wage increases could accelerate quickly. If they pick up too far, the Fed's intention to raise rates at a "gradual" pace will be upended. The NFIB survey of small businesses--mostly very small--shows employers are having as much trouble recruiting staff as at the peak of the boom in 2006.

25 January 2017 Will a Border Adjustment Tax Drive Up Inflation? (Publication Centre)

We've seen some alarming estimates of the potential impact on inflation of the House Republicans' plans for corporate tax reform, with some forecasts suggesting the CPI would be pushed up as much as 5%. We think the impact will be much smaller, more like 1-to-11⁄2% at most, and it could be much less, depending on what happens to the dollar. But the timing would be terrible, given the Fed's fears over the inflation risk posed by the tightness of the labor market.

23 September. 2016 How to Read the Split FOMC's Confusing Thought Processes (Publication Centre)

Over the past few days we have written about the difference between the Fed's tactics--signalling rate hikes and then choosing not to act in the face of weaker data--and its strategy, which is to normalize rates in the expectation that inflation will head to 2% in the medium-term.

23 Nov. 2015 How to Scare Yourself Over the U.S. Inflation Outlook (Publication Centre)

Should you be feeling in the mood to panic over inflation risks--or more positively, benefit from the markets' underpricing of inflation risks--consider the following scenario. First, assume that the uptick in wages reported in October really does mark the start of the long-awaited sustained acceleration promised by a 5% unemployment rate and employers' difficulty in finding people to hire. Second, assume that the rental property market remains extremely tight. Third, assume that the abrupt upturn in medical costs in the October CPI is a harbinger o f things to come. And finally, assume that the Fed hawks are right in their view that the initial increase in interest rates will--to quote the September FOMC minutes--"...spur, rather than restrain economic activity". Under these conditions, what happens to inflation?

22 March 2018 Strong Growth, Gradual Hikes, and Only a bit of Inflation, Here's Hoping (Publication Centre)

The most striking feature of the Fed's new forecasts is the projected overshoot in core PCE inflation at end-2019 and end-2020, which fits our definition of "persistent".

22 June. 2016 No Real Change from Yellen, but Acknowledgement of Other Views (Publication Centre)

Dr. Yellen's Testimony yesterday was largely a cut-and-paste job from the FOMC statement last week and her remarks at the press conference. The Fed's core views have not changed since last week, unsurprisingly, and policymakers still expect to raise rates gradually as inflation returns to the target, but will be guided by the incoming data.

23 August. 2016 Rental Inflation Set to Rise Further as Vacancies Hit a New Cycle Low (Publication Centre)

This week brings home sales data for July, which we expect will be mixed. New home sales likely rose a bit, but we are pretty confident that existing home sales will be reported down, following four straight gains. We're still expecting a clear positive contribution to GDP growth from housing construction in the third quarter, but from the Fed's perspective the more immediate threat comes from the rate of increase of housing rents, rather than the pace of home sales.

23 July. 2015 Mortgage Demand Signals Rising Third Quarter Home Sales (Publication Centre)

If the recovery in existing homes hadn't been interrupted by the taper tantrum, in the spring of 2013, sales by now would likely be running at an annualized rate in excess of 6M. The rising trend in sales from late 2010 through early 2013 was strong and stable, as our first chart shows, but the decline was steep after the Fed signalled it would soon slow the pace of QE, and it was made temporarily worse by the severe late fall and early winter weather.

23 May 2019 Patience to Persist FOMC Members Content to Wait for Developments (Publication Centre)

It's hard to read the minutes of the April 30/May 1 FOMC meeting as anything other than a statement of the Fed's intent to do nothing for some time yet.

2 Dec. 2015 Yellen to Affirm Labor Market Gains, Promise "Gradual" Hikes (Publication Centre)

Fed Chair Yellen speaks to the Economics Club of Washington, D.C., at 12.25 Eastern today, a day before she appears before the Joint Economic Committee of Congress at 10.00 Eastern. These will be her last public utterances before the FOMC meeting on December 16. Dr. Yellen won't say anything which could be interpreted as seeking to front-run the outcome of the meeting; that's not her style. But we expect her clearly to repeat that the Fed's decision will depend on whether progress has been made since October towards the Fed's twin objectives of maximum employment and 2% inflation.

21 Dec. 2015 Fed Tightening Triggers Immediate Policy Changes in LatAm (Publication Centre)

Central banks in Mexico, Colombia and Chile raised interest rates last week in tandem with the Fed, underscoring the almost mystical importance of the FOMC's actions in Latin America. In Colombia and Chile, their decisions were also helped by rising inflation pressures, due mainly to pass-through effects from currency depreciation.

16 September. 2016 Something Bad Happened to Industry in August, Will it Last? (Publication Centre)

We have not been expecting the Fed to raise rates next week, and yesterday's data made a hike even less likely. The September Philly Fed and Empire State surveys were alarmingly weak everywhere except the headline level, and the official August production data were grim.

19 September 2017 Four Reasons Why the MPC Likely Will Procrastinate in November (Publication Centre)

For the record, we think the Fed should raise rates in December, given the long lags in monetary policy and the clear strength in the economy, especially the labor market, evident in the pre-hurricane data.

17 Dec. 2014 - Time Runs Out for (Publication Centre)

We think the FOMC's announcement this afternoon will not include the phrase "considerable time", signaling that the first rate cut will come at or before the middle of next year. At the same time, the Fed's new forecasts likely will show the unemployment rate falling into the Fed's estimated Nairu range this year, rather than the spring of 2016, as implied by their September forecasts.

17 Dec. 2015 The Beginning of "Gradual" or the Start of the Next Big Fed Mistake? (Publication Centre)

The FOMC yesterday did what it had to do, and said what it had to say. The super-doves were kicked into line, with a unanimous vote, though two members' blue dots showed they think rates should not have been raised. In our view, though, Dr. Yellen's avowed intention to raise rates gradually sits uneasily with her--correct--assertion that policy remains very accommodative, bearing in mind that the unemployment rate is now at the Fed's estimate of the Nairu, while evidence of accelerating wage gains is burgeoning.

17 Sept. 2015 No rate hike today - December a better bet than October? (Publication Centre)

We expect the Fed not to raise rates today. In the eyes of the waverers who will need to change their minds in order to trigger action, the latest data-- especially wages--do not make a compelling case for immediate action, and the obvious fragility of markets strengthens the case for doing nothing today. This is a Fed which in recent years has greatly preferred to err on the side of caution. With no immediate inflation threat, the waverers and the doves will take the view that the cost of delaying the first move until October or December is small. As far as we can tell, they are the majority on the committee.

17 March 2017 Colombia's Economy is Slowing Rapidly, BanRep to Cut Further (Publication Centre)

The Fed's insistence this week that U.S. rates will rise only twice more this year helped to ease pressures on LatAm markets this week, particularly FX. The way is now clear for some LatAm central banks to cut interest rates rapidly over the coming months, even before U.S. fiscal and trade policy becomes clear. We expect the next Fed rate hike to come in June, as the labor market continues to tighten. If we're right, the free-risk window for LatAm rate cuts is relatively short.

16 Mar. 2016 Can Yellen Reconcile Lower Dots, Rates on Hold and Rising Inflation? (Publication Centre)

The further improvement in labor market conditions and the jump in core inflation means that the economic data have given the Fed all the excuse it needs to raise rates today. But the chance of a hike is very small, not least because the fed funds future puts the odds of an action today at just 4%, and the Fed has proved itself very reluctant to surprise investors-- at least, in a bad way--in the past.

16 June. 2016 Don't Fret Over One Jobs Report, Says Yellen, Doing Exactly That (Publication Centre)

If the Fed really believed its own rhetoric--"Inflation is expected... to rise to 2 percent over the medium term as the transitory effects of past declines in energy and import prices dissipate and the labor market strengthens further"--it would have raised rates yesterday, given the very long lags between policy action and the response from the real economy.

16 Dec. 2015 Yellen Set to Signal Gradual Hikes, But Will the Data Let Her Deliver? (Publication Centre)

The Fed will raise rates by 25 basis points today, 11 years and six months since the previous tightening cycle began, in June 2004. This tightening, like that one, will end in recession eventually, but this time around we expect a garden-variety business cycle downturn rather than a massive financial crash and a near-death experience for global capitalism.

15 May 2017 Core Inflation Surprises Again, but the Trend Likely has not Turned (Publication Centre)

The failure of the core CPI to mean-revert in April, after the unexpected March drop, does not mean that the Fed can relax.

16 December 2016 LatAm Currencies Sell-off Post Fed Hike, but they will Stabilize Soon (Publication Centre)

LatAm markets reacted relatively well to the Fed's rate hike on Wednesday, which was largely priced-in. The markets' cool-headed reaction bodes well for Latam central banks. But it doesn't mean that the region is risk-free, especially as Mr. Trump's inauguration day draws near.

16 July. 2015 Upbeat Yellen Dismisses European Risk - Focus Back on U.S. Data (Publication Centre)

Fed Chair Yellen said nothing very new in the core of her Monetary Policy Testimony yesterday, repeating her view that rates likely will have to rise this year but policy will remain accommodative, and that the labor market is less tight than the headline unemployment rate suggests. The upturn in wage growth remains "tentative", in her view, making the next two payroll reports before the September FOMC meeting key to whether the Fed moves then.

16 June 2017 LatAm Markets will Continue to Cope Well with Fed Tightening (Publication Centre)

LatAm markets reacted well to the U.S. Fed's decision to increase the funds rate by 25bp, to 1-to-1¼%, on Wednesday. Currencies moved only slightly after the decision and asset markets were relatively stable. Yesterday, some currencies retreated marginally as investors digested the relatively hawkish message from the Fed and Chair Yellen's press conference.

18 January 2019 Manufacturing Output Likely Jumped in December Don't be Deceived (Publication Centre)

The monthly industrial production numbers are collected and released by the Fed, rather than the BEA, so today's December report will not be delayed by the government shutdown.

16 May. 2016 What Went Wrong With the Rising Yield Story? (Publication Centre)

Back in September, after the Fed decided to hold fire in the wake of market turmoil, we expected rates to rise in December and again in March. We forecast 10-year yields would rise to 2.75% by the end of March. in the event, the Fed hiked only once, and 10-year yields ended the first quarter at just 1.77%. So, what went wrong with our forecasts?

19 May. 2016 Fed on Course to Hike, Soon, but Will Brexit Risk Forestall June? (Publication Centre)

The April FOMC minutes don't mince words: "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".

18 July 2017 Will Foreign Trade be a Drag on Second Quarter GDP Growth? (Publication Centre)

Markets usually ignore the monthly import price data, presumably because they are far removed, especially at the headline level, from the consumer price numbers the Fed targets.

19 June 2017 Don't Rule Out a September Fed Hike, Watch the Labor Market Data (Publication Centre)

In the wake of last week's rate increase, the fed funds future puts the chance of another rise in September at just 16%. After hikes in December, March and June, we think the Fed is trying to tell us something about their intention to keep going; this is not 2015 or 2016, when the Fed happily accepted any excuse not to do what it had said it would do.

19 May 2017 Expect a Hike on June 14 Unless Financial Conditions Tighten, a Lot (Publication Centre)

The probability of a rate hike on June 14, as implied by the fed funds future, has dropped to 90%, from a peak of 99% on May 5.

19 March 2019 Lessons from Rapid Wage Gains and Low Inflation in Eastern Europe (Publication Centre)

Following our note yesterday about upside risks to wage growth and the question of how the Fed will respond, given their sensitivity to labor cost-push inflation risk in the past, we want to address a question raised by readers.

19 July 2019 Talk of Downside Inflation Risk will be Muted by September (Publication Centre)

The spike in the May core CPI, and its likely echo in the core PCE, won't stop the Fed easing at the end of this month.

19 Jan. 2016 Market Chaos in January Does Not Drive Fed Actions All Year (Publication Centre)

To paraphrase recent correspondence: "How can you possibly believe, given the terrible run of economic data and the turmoil in the markets, that the Fed will raise rates in March/June/at all this year?" Well, to state the obvious, if markets are in anything like their current state at the time of the eight Fed meetings this year, they won't hike. That sort of sustained downward pressure and volatility would itself prevent action at the next couple of meetings, as did the turmoil last summer when the Fed met in September. And if markets were to remain in disarray for an extended period we'd expect significant feedback into the real economy, reducing--perhaps even removing--the need for further tightening.

18 September 2017 How it Could all go Wrong for U.S. Markets, and Quickly (Publication Centre)

For the record, we think the Fed should raise rates in December, given the long lags in monetary policy and the clear strength in the economy, especially the labor market, evident in the pre-hurricane data.

19 December 2016 Yellen Backs Away from the "High- Pressure" Economy (Publication Centre)

Judging by conversations we have had with investors since October, the idea that the Fed will be willing to let inflation overshoot the 2% target for a time has become received wisdom in the markets.

18 November. 2016 Yellen Still Thinks Inflation Will Hit the Target in Two Years. Hmm. (Publication Centre)

Fed Chair Yellen's Testimony yesterday pretended the election hadn't happened, and ignored the incoming administration's plans for a huge fiscal stimulus. She did address the issue under questioning, though, pointing out that fiscal stimulus could have inflationary consequences and that the Fed will have to factor-in to its decisions whatever Congress decides to do to taxes and spending.

18 Sept. 2015 Global Risks Keep Fed on Hold - December Now in the Frame (Publication Centre)

The Yellen Fed acted--or rather, didn't act--true to form yesterday, preferring to take its chances with inflation one or two years down the line rather than surprising the markets by hiking rates and risking the consequences. Even before Dr. Yellen's tenure, the Fed has long been reluctant to defy market expectations on the day of FOMC meetings. Engineering a shift in market views of the likely broad path of policy is one thing, but shocking investors with unexpected action on specific days is another matter altogether.

18 Mar. 2015 "Patient" to go, thanks to better growth, Labor market forecasts (Publication Centre)

We expect the Fed to drop "patient" from its post-meeting statement today, paving the way for a rate hike in June, data permitting. And the data will permit, in our view, despite what seems to have been a long run of disappointing numbers, and the likelihood that inflation will fall further below the Fed's 2% informal target in the near-term.

18 July. 2016 Core Inflation is Grinding Slowly Higher, but Bigger Risks Ahead (Publication Centre)

Trouble is brewing in the core inflation data, despite the benign-looking 0.17% increase in the June report, released Friday. If you annualize that rate indefinitely, core inflation will reach a steady state of 2.1%, so the Fed never needs to raise rates. Alas this only makes sense if you think that single monthly CPI numbers tell the whole truth, and that the fundamental forces acting on inflation are stable. Neither of these propositions is remotely true.

18 July 2018 Powell Says Everything's on Track Gradual Hike to Continue, "for now" (Publication Centre)

Fed Chair Powell delivered no great surprises in his semi-annual Monetary Policy Testimony yesterday, but he did hint, at least, at the idea that interest rates might at some point have to rise more quickly than shown in the current dot plot: "... the FOMC believes that - for now - the best way forward is to keep gradually raising the federal funds rate [our italics]."

WALL STREET JOURNAL - Economists React to the January Fed Statement: 'The Door is Still Open to a June Hike' (Media Centre)

The Federal Reserve said Wednesday it would keep short-term interest rates near zero until at least the middle of the year. The central bank's policy committee also signaled caution about low inflation and nodded to overseas uncertainty by including new language that it would monitor international developments. Here's how economists reacted

BLOOMBERG - Are Economic Indicators Pointing to a Fed Rate Hike? (Media Centre)

Chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson on the Fed

NEW YORK TIMES - Federal Reserve Won't Raise Interest Rates Before June, at Earliest (Media Centre)

The Federal Reserve kept its options open on Wednesday, signaling that it would not raise short-term interest rates any earlier than June, while leaving unresolved how much longer it might be willing to wait before lifting its benchmark rate from near zero, where the central bank has held it for more than six years

Bloomberg - Pantheon's Shepherdson Says Inflation Killed Sep. Hike (Media Centre)

Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, and Krishna Memani, chief investment officer at OppenheimerFunds, discuss the impact of low inflation on the Federal Reserve's rate path.

Bloomberg - Pantheon Chief Economist Worries Wages May Pressure Fed (Media Centre)

Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, discusses the impact of improving wage growth and inflation on the Federal Reserve ahead of today's February jobs report. He speaks on "Bloomberg Surveillance."

Bloomberg - Fed May Bring Hot, Volatile Summer, Says Shepherdson (Media Centre)

Ian Shepherdson, founder at Pantheon Macroeconomics Ltd., discusses the Federal Reserve's rate hike pattern and how it can provide a summer surprise to markets. He speaks with Bloomberg's Mark Barton on "Bloomberg Surveillance."

Bloomberg - Shepherdson: Fed at 2% Next Year on Five Rate Hikes (Media Centre)

Ian Shepherdson, founder at Pantheon Economics, discusses rising U.S. inflation expectations and his outlook for the Federal Reserve in response to President-Elect Donald Trump's economic plan. He speaks on "Bloomberg Surveillance."

Question of the Week, WC 9th July (Media Centre)

Why is the EZ current account surplus rising and net exports falling at the same time? 

NEW YORK TIMES - U.S. Economy Added 271,000 Jobs in October - Unemployment Rate at 5% (Media Centre)

Chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson on today's Payroll report

MARKET WATCH - Fed will be scrambling to catch up with improving economy, forecaster says (Media Centre)

Ian Shepherdson, chief economist for Pantheon Macroeconomics is the winner of the MarketWatch Forecaster of the Month award for June.

CNBC - Fed hike hint surprises economist (Media Centre)

Chief U.K. Economist Ian Shepherdson on Brexit risk to a June rate hike

Bloomberg - How Fed Rate Hike Messaging Impacts the Economy (Media Centre)

Chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson on Bloomberg Surveillance

The Hill - Memo to Powell: Best not to offer hostages to fortune (Media Centre)

Article by Ian Shepherdson in The Hill

TELEGRAPH - Blistering US spending growth puts Fed on track for September rate hike (Media Centre)

Chief US economist Ian Shepherdson on US Consumer Spending

Ian Shepherdson

Ian Shepherdson's mission is to present complex economic ideas in a clear, understandable and actionable manner to financial market professionals. He has worked in and around financial markets for more than 20 years, developing a strong sense for what is important to investors, traders, salespeople and risk managers.

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