Friday, December 09, 2016

Merrill: FOMC Preview

by Bill McBride on 12/09/2016 08:59:00 PM

A few excerpts from another FOMC preview, this once from Merrill Lynch:

It is the day we have all been waiting for – the FOMC is very likely to hike 25bp to a range of 50 – 75bp at the December 14th meeting. This is the second hike in the cycle, following the move last December. Since the rate hike is considered a foregone conclusion and is unlikely to move the markets, the focus will be on the statement, SEP (specifically the dots) and the press conference. While we are expecting the decision to be unanimous, it is possible that there is a dovish dissent with Fed Governor Brainard as the most likely candidate.
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Medium-term forecasts: We think the median unemployment forecast will fall to 4.7% from 4.8% given the recent drop in the unemployment rate. We also expect GDP growth to be revised higher this year to either 1.9% or 2.0% on the back of stronger 2H GDP tracking. Looking ahead to the next three years, we think the risk is for upward revisions to inflation.

Long-term forecasts: We do not expect a change to long-term growth or unemployment rate. The median expectation for long-run GDP growth fell to 1.8% from 2.0% in the September SEP and we do not think conditions have changed since then to warrant a revision. While fiscal policy could alter trend growth, Fed officials do not yet have details.