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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

FOMC Minutes for April

by Calculated Risk on 5/20/2009 02:01:00 PM

From the Fed: Minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee April 28-29, 2009

Some FOMC members suggested buying more Treasury securities:

Members also agreed that it would be appropriate to continue making purchases in accordance with the amounts that had previously been announced—that is, up to $1.25 trillion of agency MBS and up to $200 billion of agency debt by the end of this year, and up to $300 billion of Treasury securities by autumn. Some members noted that a further increase in the total amount of purchases might well be warranted at some point to spur a more rapid pace of recovery; all members concurred with waiting to see how the economy and financial conditions respond to the policy actions already in train before deciding whether to adjust the size or timing of asset purchases. The Committee reaffirmed the need to monitor carefully the size and composition of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet in light of economic and financial developments.
emphasis added
The economic projections are near the end. Although the Fed lowered their economic outlook (compared to January), they are still fairly optimistic. As an example, the central tendency for GDP growth in 2010 is 2% to 3%, not far below trend growth, and above trend growth in 2011 (3.5% to 4.8% central tendency of projections). The Fed is also optimistic about the unemployment rate peaking below 10% later this year or in early 2010. In January, the members saw unemployment peaking in 2009, and the central tendency for unemployment was 8.5% to 8.8% in 2009 - we are already at 8.9% in April!