Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.RED ALERT: Paris Terror Attacks - What to Expect Next - STRATFOR
2.Paris Terror Attacks, Death Pangs of a Dying Religion, and Impact on BrExit EU Referendum - Nadeem_Walayat
3.Paris Terror Attacks, Islamic State Attempting to Spark Civil War in France - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Three Shocking Charts That Prove Gold Price Rally Is Coming - Sean Brodrick
5.Stock Market Nifty-Fifty Becomes Fab-Five; Return of the 'Four Horseman' - Mike_Shedlock
6.Africa Population Explosion - Why Europe's Migrant Crisis is Going to Get A Lot Worse - Video - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Gold Mining Stocks May Be The Buy Of The Century - Jeff_Berwick
8.Grandmaster Putin Beats Uncle Sam at His Own Game - Mike_Whitney
9.BRICS? No, CRISIS - Raymond_Matison
10.UK Housing Market Affordability, House Prices Momentum and Trend Forecast - Nadeem_Walayat
Last 5 days
Vauxhall Zafira B Fire Danger Recall - What to Do Video - 26th Nov 15
Triggers In US Dollar Collapse - 26th Nov 15
Apple Stock is a 10-Year Short - Bear Market Environment - 26th Nov 15
U.S. Federal Reserve Rate Hike - 26th Nov 15
George Osborne's War on Buy to Let Sector Trending Towards Doomsday - 26th Nov 15
Will Turkey Drag NATO into War With Russia in Syria? - 25th Nov 15
George Osborne’s Autumn Statement and Spending Review Full Text - 25th Nov 15
Will Fresh QE From ECB Boost Gold? - 25th Nov 15
Sheffield, Yorkshire and Humberside House Prices Forecast 2016-2018 - 25th Nov 15
Investors Watch Out For The Auto Industry… - 24th Nov 15
BEA Revises 3rd Quarter 2015 US GDP Economic Growth Upward to 2.07% - 24th Nov 15
Stock Market Supports Are Being Broken - 24th Nov 15
Is Gold Price on the Verge of a Breakout? - 24th Nov 15
Fed’s Tarullo: U.S. Interest Rates Liftoff Should Wait for Signs of Inflation - 24th Nov 15
Silver Price, COT, US Dollar Updates and More - 24th Nov 15
UK Regional House Prices Analysis - Video - 23rd Nov 15
Crude Oil Swinging For The Fences - A 20 to 1 Option Play - 23rd Nov 15
US Dollar, CRB, Oil, Gas, Copper and Gold - The Chartology of Deflation - 23rd Nov 15
UK Regional House Prices, Cheapest and Most Expensive Property Markets - 23rd Nov 15
Stock Market Rally Losing Momentum? - 23rd Nov 15
Will Gold Price Drop Below $1000 Soon? - 23rd Nov 15
Gold and Silver Sector Big Green Light and Low Risk Entry Setup... - 23rd Nov 15
Limits to Economic Growth - Challenge and Choices - 22nd Nov 15
Long Dollar Trade and Current Copper Price Below Cost of Production - 22nd Nov 15
UK Housing Market House Prices Affordability Crisis - Video - 21st Nov 15
The Fed Has Set the Stage for a Stock Market Crash - 21st Nov 15
Stock Market Primary V Wave Continues - 21st Nov 15
Gold And Silver - Value Of Knowing The Trend - 21st Nov 15
UK Footsie Bulls Set To Foot The Bill - 21st Nov 15
UK Housing Market Affordability, House Prices Momentum and Trend Forecast - 21st Nov 15
GDX Gold Miners’ Strong Q3 Results - 20th Nov 15
End of Schengen, Stock Market’s Technical Strength Grows - 20th Nov 15
Justice for All and The Curious Case of Zambia - 20th Nov 15
Paris, Sharm el-Sheikh, and the Resurrection of Old Europe - 20th Nov 15
Silver Prices and The Management of Perception - 20th Nov 15
Stock Market Nifty-Fifty Becomes Fab-Five; Return of the 'Four Horseman' - 20th Nov 15
Waiting for Goldot Again - 20th Nov 15
Michael Curran Goes Down-Market Shopping for Gold Stock Winners - 20th Nov 15
Why Isn’t This Incredibly Bearish Bond Market Development Making the News? - 19th Nov 15
SPX Appears to have Stopped its Rally - 19th Nov 15
The Great Fall Of China Started At Least 4 Years Ago - 19th Nov 15
Using Elliott Waves: As Simple As A-B-C - 19th Nov 15
Has Deflation Been Ddefeated? - 19th Nov 15
Dow Jones Stock Market Index is Not Going to Crash - 19th Nov 15

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Reasons to Get Excited About Japanese Stocks

Fed Upgrades U.S. GDP Growth Forecast, Remains Significantly Concerned About Unemployment

Economics / US Economy Feb 17, 2011 - 03:12 AM GMT

By: Asha_Bangalore


Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleThe minutes of the January FOMC meeting show the Fed more optimistic about economic growth in 2011. The Fed raised the central tendency for real GDP growth in 2011 to 3.4% - 3.9% from the November forecast of 3.0% to 3.6% (see Table 1). The revisions to projections of economic growth in 2012 and 2013 were small compared with the revision of estimates for 2011.

Consistent with the upward revision of real GDP, the unemployment rate was lowered from the November prediction. However, the unemployment rate remains at an elevated level of 8.8% to 9.0% in the fourth quarter of 2011. Predictions of inflation, overall and core, were both raised slightly for the entire forecast period.


Most members continue to hold that there is a great deal of uncertainty still. The minutes listed five major sources of uncertainty - (1) the nature of economic recoveries after financial crisis, (2) the effects of unconventional monetary policies, (3) structural problems in the labor market, (4) the future path of fiscal policy, and (5) global economic outlook. Despite these significant sources of concern, most members view that risks are broadly balanced with regard to real GDP growth. This is marked change from the view held in November, when most members held the opinion that downside risks to economic growth by far outweighed the upside risks. Pent-up demand and increased ease of credit availability were cited as factors leading to stronger-than-expected growth. Budgetary woes of state and local government translating to a decline in their spending that exceeded expectations, lower house prices and its attendant adverse consequences on household balance sheets and spending, and significantly slow improvements in the labor market which would raise household savings and reduce spending were seen as factors that could stall economic growth.

With regard to the labor market, although the outlook for the unemployment rate was balanced, members noted that if firms are pessimistic about underlying economic conditions and remain reluctant to increase payrolls, the pace of decline of the jobless rate would be less than the current prediction. The staff presented the current status of research about structural unemployment in the January deliberations. The main conclusion was that structural unemployment had risen but by less than actual increase in the unemployment rate. The minutes also noted that many factors that accounted for the increase in structural unemployment would "recede over time." The discussion also mentioned that mismatches of labor skills and "hiring practices" could not be solved by monetary policy. A few others hold that under current conditions monetary policy still had a positive role to play in reducing joblessness.

On the inflation front, compared with the assessment in November, the probability of deflation had dropped significantly. A few members saw upside emanating from the large size of the Fed's balance sheet. The persistent gap between the jobless rate and the long-run benchmark was seen as source for inflation to be lower than projected. A few members noted that higher energy and commodity prices presented an inflationary risk. Others added that there is only small pass-through of these higher prices to overall consumer price indexes.

Given the nature of economic conditions, the Fed plans to complete its purchases of longer dated Treasury securities. The minutes indicate a difference in opinion about quantitative easing, with some members suggesting a reduction as economic conditions improve, while others were unsure about the impact and held that the program should continue. A few others indicated that it was not likely that economic conditions would change sufficiently to justify a termination of the second round of quantitative easing.

Asha Bangalore — Senior Vice President and Economist

Asha Bangalore is Vice President and Economist at The Northern Trust Company, Chicago. Prior to joining the bank in 1994, she was Consultant to savings and loan institutions and commercial banks at Financial & Economic Strategies Corporation, Chicago.

Copyright © 2011 Asha Bangalore

The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of The Northern Trust Company. The Northern Trust Company does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of information contained herein, such information is subject to change and is not intended to influence your investment decisions.

© 2005-2015 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Biggest Debt Bomb in History