econintersect.com
       
  

FREE NEWSLETTER: Econintersect sends a nightly newsletter highlighting news events of the day, and providing a summary of new articles posted on the website. Econintersect will not sell or pass your email address to others per our privacy policy. You can cancel this subscription at any time by selecting the unsubscribing link in the footer of each email.



posted on 21 December 2015

Tick Tock, The FED Starts The Clock

by Lance Roberts, Clarity Financial

Real Investment Report, 20 December 2015

This past week, Janet Yellen announced the first hike in the Fed Funds rate in eleven years from .25% to .50%. When asked about why the Fed decided to raise rates now, Ms. Yellen responded by suggesting that the "odds were good" the economy would have ended up overshooting the Fed's employment, growth and inflation goals had rates remained at low levels. She then went on to state that it was a "myth" that economic growth cycles die of "old age."

While such an optimistic outlook for economic growth was certainly welcomed by the markets, both of her statements expose the challenges that lie ahead for the Fed.

Ms. Yellen is correct in stating that economic growth cycles do not die of "old age." It is historically the impact of an exogenous impact that ultimately slows economic growth rates into a recessionary cycle. What Ms. Yellen failed to explain is that historically it has been the "tightening" of monetary policies that have been the "exogenous impact" to the economic growth cycle.

Looking back through history, the evidence is quite compelling that from the time the first rate hike is induced into the system, it has started the countdown to the next recession. However, the timing between the first rate hike and the next recession is dependent on the level of economic growth at that time. As I stated earlier this week:

"When looking at historical time frames, one must not look at averages of all rate hikes but rather what happened when a rate hiking campaign began from similar economic growth levels. Looking back in history we can only identify TWO previous times when the Fed began tightening monetary policy when economic growth rates were at 2% or less.

(There is a vast difference in timing for the economy to slide into recession from 6%, 4%, and 2% annual growth rates.)"

Fed-Funds-GDP-5yr-Avg-Table-121715

"With economic growth currently running at THE LOWEST average growth rate in American history, the time frame between the first rate and next recession will not be long."

Given the reality that increases in interest rates is a monetary policy action that by its nature slows economic growth and quells inflation by raising borrowing costs, the only real issue is the timing.

As Sam Zell noted recently:

"I think this interest rate hike is too late, this economy is closer to falling over than it is to going up. I think there's a high probability that we're looking at a recession in the next twelve months."

Looking at the historical data above, Zell's timing appears to be just about right.


Fed Rate Hikes And Bull Markets

The other common meme this morning, following yesterday's rate hike decision is that "stocks have nowhere to go but up."

Again, this is a timing issue. If you have a very short-term view, history suggests that stocks do rise on average following an initial rate hike. However, as shown in the chart below, historically rate hikes have occurred when earnings growth was on the rise, not peaking and deteriorating.

Profit-Margins-Fed-Funds-121415

Furthermore, as explained by Jason Goepfert of Sentiment Trader yesterday:

"The S&P 500, gold and 10-year Treasury note yield are all up by more than 0.5% on the day. The knee-jerk assumption from that would be that traders are pricing in higher inflation.

This is occurring on a day the FOMC raised its Federal Funds target rate. If we go back to 1971 and look for every time all three rallied at least 0.5% on a day the Fed hiked rates, we get the following future performance."

Sentiment-Trader-121615

However, if we step our time frame out to longer-term, since we are all supposed to be long-term investors, the outlook becomes rather grim.

Fed-Funds-Table-121715

In every single instance when the Fed has started a rate hiking campaign, that campaign ended in a market correction or worse. (The Fed then began lowering rates immediately to stop the ensuing carnage.)

With corporate profits deteriorating, economic growth weak and the dollar surging, the Fed is very late to the game. This puts the time frame between now and the next recession at the very short end of the scale.


Growth So Bright, Lower Outlook

One thing that is always interesting is comparing what the Fed "says" during their press conference and then looking at the history of their own forecasts.

During yesterday's press conference, Ms. Yellen made several references, as noted above, about the strength of the economy and that despite the surging dollar and collapsing oil prices, everything should continue to improve. The problem is that is NOT what was reflected in their forecasts released along with their announcement.

The table/chart below shows the history of the Fed's average range of their estimates going back to 2011 when they started releasing their forecasts as compared to what actually occurred.

FOMC-Forecasts-GDP-121715

Currently, economic growth forecasts for 2016 and 2017 are at their lowest rate since the Fed began predicting for those two years. Furthermore, it is worth noting that for 2015, the Fed had originally estimated growth to be 3.35% rather than the current run rate of 2.2%.

Furthermore, they lowered their long-term outlook to just 2.05% from 2.25% at the last release.

Yellen-GrowthForecasts-121615

Yes, please meet the "worst economic forecasters" ever. And while the mainstream media quickly laps up the optimistic outlook of the Fed, you might want to consider their own record of forecasts when making long-term investment bets.

Based on statistical history combined with the current underpinnings in the market, the outlook really isn't as bright as Ms. Yellen suggests.

Something to think about.

>>>>> Scroll down to view and make comments <<<<<<

Click here for Historical Investing Post Listing










Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted.  As the internet is a "war zone" of trolls, hackers and spammers - Econintersect must balance its defences against ease of commenting.  We have joined with Livefyre to manage our comment streams.

To comment, using Livefyre just click the "Sign In" button at the top-left corner of the comment box below. You can create a commenting account using your favorite social network such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Open ID - or open a Livefyre account using your email address.



You can also comment using Facebook directly using he comment block below.





Econintersect Investing


search_box

Print this page or create a PDF file of this page
Print Friendly and PDF


The growing use of ad blocking software is creating a shortfall in covering our fixed expenses. Please consider a donation to Econintersect to allow continuing output of quality and balanced financial and economic news and analysis.


Take a look at what is going on inside of Econintersect.com
Main Home
Analysis Blog
Big Mess in Italy
Are You Feeling the Economic Surge?
News Blog
Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Up, Oil Down, GOP Healthcare, Trump Not Reagan Redux, EU Ending?, UK Lost Decade, Putin Taking Over Mid-East, Yuan 'Flash' Crash And More
December 5, 2016 Weather and Climate Report - December Update - Zonal Prevails
Irish Births And Baptisms Visualised
What Happens In The Smartphone Afterlife
Water Intoxication: Are We Drowning In Advice To Drink More Fluids?
The Worldwide Virtual Reality Market Is Set To Be Huge
Average Gasoline Prices for Week Ending 05 December 2016 Rose Over 5 Cents
What We Read Today 05 December 2016
Why We Have Different Blood Types
November 2016 Conference Board Employment Index Improved.
November 2016 ISM and Markit Services Index Mixed
Are All Collateralized Loan Obligations Equal?
A Third Of Homes Sold For The List Price Or More In August 2016
Investing Blog
Momentum Issues A Warning
The Great Bond Crash Of 2016: 05 December Update
Opinion Blog
The Shale-War Is Over
Fake Science
Precious Metals Blog
Silver Prices Rebounded Today: Where They Are Headed
Live Markets
05Dec2016 Market Close: US Markets Close Higher, WTI Crude Settles At $51.09, US Dollar Drops Below 100 Temporally
Amazon Books & More






.... and keep up with economic news using our dynamic economic newspapers with the largest international coverage on the internet
Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government



Crowdfunding ....






























 navigate econintersect.com

Blogs

Analysis Blog
News Blog
Investing Blog
Opinion Blog
Precious Metals Blog
Markets Blog
Video of the Day
Weather

Newspapers

Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government
     

RSS Feeds / Social Media

Combined Econintersect Feed
Google+
Facebook
Twitter
Digg

Free Newsletter

Marketplace - Books & More

Economic Forecast

Content Contribution

Contact

About

  Top Economics Site

Investing.com Contributor TalkMarkets Contributor Finance Blogs Free PageRank Checker Active Search Results Google+

This Web Page by Steven Hansen ---- Copyright 2010 - 2016 Econintersect LLC - all rights reserved