13 September 2012 FOMC Meeting Statement: HELLO QE3!!!!!

September 13th, 2012
in econ_news, syndication

Post revised at 12:55 pm ET to add NY Fed Statement

Post revised at 2:29 pm ET to add the FOMC members economic projections

Econintersect: The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) - the board of directors of the Federal Reserve - meeting concluded today with the Fed strongly intervening into what they see economic softness.

The Committee is concerned that, without further policy accommodation, economic growth might not be strong enough to generate sustained improvement in labor market conditions.

The FOMC voted to expand their balance sheet at the rate of $40 billion per month - as well as continuing Operation Twist.

The following table compares the statement from the previous FOMC meeting to the statement for the meeting concluding today.

Follow up:

01 August Statement

13 September Statement

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in June suggests that economic activity decelerated somewhat over the first half of this year. Growth in employment has been slow in recent months, and the unemployment rate remains elevated. Business fixed investment has continued to advance. Household spending has been rising at a somewhat slower pace than earlier in the year. Despite some further signs of improvement, the housing sector remains depressed. Inflation has declined since earlier this year, mainly reflecting lower prices of crude oil and gasoline, and longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable. Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in August suggests that economic activity has continued to expand at a moderate pace in recent months.  Growth in employment has been slow, and the unemployment rate remains elevated.  Household spending has continued to advance, but growth in business fixed investment appears to have slowed.  The housing sector has shown some further signs of improvement, albeit from a depressed level. Inflation has been subdued, although the prices of some key commodities have increased recently. Longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable.

Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. The Committee expects economic growth to remain moderate over coming quarters and then to pick up very gradually. Consequently, the Committee anticipates that the unemployment rate will decline only slowly toward levels that it judges to be consistent with its dual mandate. Furthermore, strains in global financial markets continue to pose significant downside risks to the economic outlook. The Committee anticipates that inflation over the medium term will run at or below the rate that it judges most consistent with its dual mandate. Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability.  The Committee is concerned that, without further policy accommodation, economic growth might not be strong enough to generate sustained improvement in labor market conditions. Furthermore, strains in global financial markets continue to pose significant downside risks to the economic outlook.  The Committee also anticipates that inflation over the medium term likely would run at or below its 2 percent objective.
To support a stronger economic recovery and to help ensure that inflation, over time, is at the rate most consistent with its dual mandate, the Committee expects to maintain a highly accommodative stance for monetary policy.

To support a stronger economic recovery and to help ensure that inflation, over time, is at the rate most consistent with its dual mandate, the Committee agreed today to increase policy accommodation by purchasing additional agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $40 billion per month.  The Committee also will continue through the end of the year its program to extend the average maturity of its holdings of securities as announced in June, and it is maintaining its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities.  These actions, which together will increase the Committee’s holdings of longer-term securities by about $85 billion each month through the end of the year, should put downward pressure on longer-term interest rates, support mortgage markets, and help to make broader financial conditions more accommodative.

In particular, the Committee decided today to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and currently anticipates that economic conditions--including low rates of resource utilization and a subdued outlook for inflation over the medium run--are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate at least through late 2014. To support continued progress toward maximum employment and price stability, the Committee expects that a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy will remain appropriate for a considerable time after the economic recovery strengthens.  In particular, the Committee also decided today to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and currently anticipates that exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate are likely to be warranted at least through mid-2015. Voting

The Committee also decided to continue through the end of the year its program to extend the average maturity of its holdings of securities as announced in June, and it is maintaining its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities. The Committee will closely monitor incoming information on economic and financial developments and will provide additional accommodation as needed to promote a stronger economic recovery and sustained improvement in labor market conditions in a context of price stability.

The Committee will closely monitor incoming information on economic and financial developments in coming months.  If the outlook for the labor market does not improve substantially, the Committee will continue its purchases of agency mortgage-backed securities, undertake additional asset purchases, and employ its other policy tools as appropriate until such improvement is achieved in a context of price stability.  In determining the size, pace, and composition of its asset purchases, the Committee will, as always, take appropriate account of the likely efficacy and costs of such purchases.
for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Ben S. Bernanke, Chairman; William C. Dudley, Vice Chairman; Elizabeth A. Duke; Dennis P. Lockhart; Sandra Pianalto; Jerome H. Powell; Sarah Bloom Raskin; Jeremy C. Stein; Daniel K. Tarullo; John C. Williams; and Janet L. Yellen. Voting against the action was Jeffrey M. Lacker, who preferred to omit the description of the time period over which economic conditions are likely to warrant an exceptionally low level of the federal funds rate. Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Ben S. Bernanke, Chairman; William C. Dudley, Vice Chairman; Elizabeth A. Duke; Dennis P. Lockhart; Sandra Pianalto; Jerome H. Powell; Sarah Bloom Raskin; Jeremy C. Stein; Daniel K. Tarullo; John C. Williams; and Janet L. Yellen.  Voting against the action was Jeffrey M. Lacker, who opposed additional asset purchases and preferred to omit the description of the time period over which exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate are likely to be warranted.


Statement Regarding Transactions in Agency Mortgage-Backed Securities and Treasury Securities

On September 13, 2012, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) directed the Open Market Trading Desk (the Desk) at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to begin purchasing additional agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS) at a pace of $40 billion per month.  The FOMC also directed the Desk to continue through the end of the year its program to extend the average maturity of its holdings of Treasury securities as announced in June and to maintain its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from the Federal Reserve’s holdings of agency debt and agency MBS in agency MBS.

The FOMC noted that these actions, which together will increase the Committee’s holdings of longer-term securities by about $85 billion each month through the end of the year, should put downward pressure on longer-term interest rates, support mortgage markets, and help to make broader financial conditions more accommodative.

Purchases of Agency MBS
The purchases of additional agency MBS will begin tomorrow, and are expected to total approximately $23 billion over the remainder of September.  Going forward, details associated with the additional amount of MBS to be purchased each month will be announced on or around the last business day of the prior month.

Consistent with current practice, the planned amount of purchases associated with reinvestments of principal payments on holdings of agency securities that are anticipated to take place over each monthly period will be announced on or around the eighth business day of the prior month.  The next monthly reinvestment purchase amount was also published today, and can be found here: http://www.newyorkfed.org/markets/ambs/ambs_schedule.html.

The Desk anticipates that the agency MBS purchases associated with both the additional asset  purchases and the principal reinvestments will likely be concentrated in newly-issued agency MBS in the To-Be-Announced (TBA) market, although the Desk may purchase other agency MBS if market conditions warrant.

Consistent with current practices, all purchases of agency MBS will be conducted with the Federal Reserve’s primary dealers through a competitive bidding process and results will be published on the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s website. The Desk will also continue to publish transaction prices for individual operations on a monthly basis.

 

FOMC Economic Projections

Explanation of Economic Projections Charts

The charts show actual values and projections for three economic variables, based on FOMC participants’ individual assessments of appropriate monetary policy:

  • Change in Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP)—as measured from the fourth quarter of the previous year to the fourth quarter of the year indicated, with values plotted at the end of each year.
  • Unemployment Rate—the average civilian unemployment rate in the fourth quarter of each year, with values plotted at the end of each year.
  • PCE Inflation—as measured by the change in the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index from the fourth quarter of the previous year to the fourth quarter of the year indicated, with values plotted at the end of each year.

Information for these variables is shown for each year from 2007 to 2015, and for the longer run.

The solid line, labeled “Actual,” shows the historical values for each variable.  The lightly shaded areas represent the ranges of the projections of policymakers. The bottom of the range for each variable is the lowest of all of the projections for that year or period. Likewise, the top of the range is the highest of all of the projections for that year or period.

The dark shaded areas represent the central tendency, which is a narrower version of the range that excludes the three highest and three lowest projections for each variable in each year or period.

The longer-run projections, which are shown on the far right side of the charts, are the rates of growth, unemployment, and inflation to which a policymaker expects the economy to converge over time—maybe in five or six years—in the absence of further shocks and under appropriate monetary policy. Because appropriate monetary policy, by definition, is aimed at achieving the Federal Reserve’s dual mandate of maximum employment and price stability in the longer run, policymakers’ longer-run projections for economic growth and unemployment may be interpreted, respectively, as estimates of the economy’s normal or trend rate of growth and its normal unemployment rate over the longer run. The longer-run projection shown for inflation is the rate of inflation judged to be most consistent with the Federal Reserve’s dual mandate.

[click to enlarge]

 

Steven Hansen

Source: All minutes and statement index / calendar for the Federal Reserve

 









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