Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Fed Chair Powell: Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress

by Calculated Risk on 2/26/2019 10:02:00 AM

From Fed Chair Jerome Powell: Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress. Excerpts:

While we view current economic conditions as healthy and the economic outlook as favorable, over the past few months we have seen some crosscurrents and conflicting signals. Financial markets became more volatile toward year-end, and financial conditions are now less supportive of growth than they were earlier last year. Growth has slowed in some major foreign economies, particularly China and Europe. And uncertainty is elevated around several unresolved government policy issues, including Brexit and ongoing trade negotiations. We will carefully monitor these issues as they evolve.
emphasis added
And on the balance sheet:
In light of the substantial progress we have made in reducing reserves, and after extensive deliberations, the Committee decided at our January meeting to continue over the longer run to implement policy with our current operating procedure. That is, we will continue to use our administered rates to control the policy rate, with an ample supply of reserves so that active management of reserves is not required. Having made this decision, the Committee can now evaluate the appropriate timing and approach for the end of balance sheet runoff. I would note that we are prepared to adjust any of the details for completing balance sheet normalization in light of economic and financial developments. In the longer run, the size of the balance sheet will be determined by the demand for Federal Reserve liabilities such as currency and bank reserves.