Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Duy: Fed Stuck In An Uncomfortable Situation

by Calculated Risk on 12/18/2018 12:08:00 PM

From Professor Tim Duy at Fed Watch: Fed Stuck In An Uncomfortable Situation

The Federal Reserve faces a most uncomfortable confluence of events as central bankers begin their two-day meeting to ponder the path of rate policy. In a nutshell, equities continued to struggle in the midst of fairly solid data as President Trump complains yet again about rate hikes while stoking the uncertainty that appears at least partly if not mostly to blame for the volatile equity markets. Yes, I know, it’s a lot to follow. Hopefully I can break it down into more manageable pieces.

Bottom Line: The baseline case is for a dovish hike that basically sends the message that the data is consistent with another rate hike but IF the economy turns slower more quickly than anticipated, this will be the last hike for some time if not the last hike of the cycle. The risk is that the Fed skips this meeting and leaves January open IF the data continues to support a hike. It is worth thinking about what the Fed would need to do to offset the impacts Trumpian uncertainty should that bleed over from Wall Street to Main Street.
CR Note: Duy thinks it is likely the FOMC will "Hike rates 25 basis points to push rates at the edge of the lower range of neutral estimates" and 'Drop “further gradual increases” for language that imparts much more uncertainty about the future path of rate hikes.' This would be a "dovish hike".