Thursday, June 19, 2008

Most Fed Officials Viewed April Rate Cut as 'Close Call'

Signals no more rate cuts even if economy contracts; says the substantial easing of monetary policy since Sept., the Fed's liquidity efforts [TAF, TSLF], and the fiscal stimulus package should help to support economic activity. "Moreover, although downside risks to growth remained, members were also concerned about the upside risks to the inflation outlook, given the continued increases in oil and commodity prices and the fact that some indicators suggested that inflation expectations had risen in recent months. Nonetheless, most members agreed that a further modest easing in the stance of policy was appropriate to balance better the risks to achiving the Committee's dual objectives."

Notes odds that economy may be 'severely disrupted', financial conditions better, but still fragile, concened about upside inflation risks, signs inflation expectations had risen. Saw rising restraint on consumer spending.

Food, energy pries to keep boosting overall inflation.

Raises 2008 jobless forecast to 5.5-5.7%% from 5.2-5.3% previous

Adjusts 2008 GDP growth forecast to 0.3% -1.2% from 1.3%-2%previous, and 2009 to 2%-3% from 2.1%-2.7% previous

Raises 2008 core inflation forecast to 2.2-2.4% from 2%-2.2% previous, Total Inflation forecast to 3.1%-3.4%% from 2.1%-2.4%

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