All the attention of the markets is still occupied by the issue of the QE program and the timing of its completion. It seems that everything is already clear here, since Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell openly stated that the program could be completed by the middle of next year. Everything seems to be clear with the timing of the start of tapering - November or maximum December. Nevertheless, there are still quite a number of questions.
The main doubt is that the Fed adheres to a flexible monetary policy, that is, it reacts to changes in the economy and makes decisions in accordance with them. Therefore, absolutely any forecast from the FOMC members themselves can be overplayed at any time if any changes occur in the economy. And now there are these changes, as the recovery of the labor market is slowing down, and inflation is accelerating again. So for now, the question is: November or December?
The US dollar is currently not showing any uniform dynamics in relation to its competitors. It is increasing in value paired with the euro, but decreasing paired with the pound sterling. It seems that the markets themselves are already confused about everything that is happening at this time. The minutes of the last Fed meeting were published last night, but we cannot say whether this is an important event for the markets.
The minutes show the Fed's approximate plan to taper QE, and the most realistic proposal now is to reduce the program by $15 billion per month (at the first stage). The volume of US Treasuries being repurchased will decrease by $10 billion, and mortgage bonds by $5 billion. Although some FOMC members advocated for a more global reduction of incentives. The minutes also contained information that about half of the participants of the monetary committee support the reduction of incentives in December, and not in November.
Thus, we get the following picture: those Fed members who support November actively promote this idea through the media, and those who support December, on the contrary, remain silent. Therefore, there is a false impression that the majority of the Fed board members support November.
All the rest of the information was, as they say, "passing." Several members admitted that the first rate hike could happen as early as the end of next year. Some have noticed that the employment rate is still well below the maximum levels. Many said that in the next couple of years, downward pressure will remain on inflation. As you can see, the question of which month to start curtailing incentives remains open even for the Fed members themselves.
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