Federal Reserve officials expressed largely optimistic views of economic growth at their most recent meeting nevertheless also started out to worry in which financial market prices are getting out of hand in addition to posing a danger to the economy.
Minutes coming from the Oct. 31-Nov. 1 Federal Open Market Committee meeting indicate members with almost universally positive views on growth — the labor market, consumer spending in addition to manufacturing all were showing solid gains. While there were disagreements on the pace of inflation, in addition to even a discussion about changing the Fed’s approach to cost stability, the sentiment otherwise was largely positive.
Moreover, they said the picture could get even better if Congress lowers corporate taxes as part of the reform plan producing its way through the Senate.
“In their discussion of the economic situation in addition to the outlook, meeting participants agreed in which information received since the FOMC met in September indicated in which the labor market had continued to strengthen in addition to in which economic activity had been rising at a solid rate despite hurricane-related disruptions,” the minutes stated.
However, when in which came to evaluating market conditions, the talk took a more cautious tone.
Stocks have been on a tear throughout 2017, setting a series of record highs in addition to adding trillions in value. in which’s come both on the heels of stronger corporate earnings in addition to hopes in which the tax reform plan, which might take the corporate rate coming from 35 percent to 20 percent, becomes a reality.
Some members feared what might happen if the market suddenly took a hit.
“In light of elevated asset valuations in addition to low financial market volatility, several participants expressed concerns about a potential buildup of financial imbalances,” the minutes said. “They worried in which a sharp reversal in asset prices could have damaging effects on the economy.”
Concerns about the surge in stocks are not brand-new at the Fed, nevertheless most officials have downplayed the idea in which the market will be in a bubble. Wall Street also has been at odds about the market, with Bank of America Merrill Lynch warning of a market top coming in 2018 though Goldman Sachs has predicted another big year.
Some members said the bull market was justified by a continued low “neutral” rate of interest in which will be neither overly restrictive nor accommodative to growth.
in addition to there also was mention of “regulatory adjustments” in which had helped “an appreciable strengthening of capital in addition to liquidity positions inside the financial sector over recent years,” which made the system less prone to shocks or sudden market drops.
President Donald Trump has taken a three-pronged approach to economic growth in addition to frequently boasts of the stock market gains. In addition to tax reform, he has cut business regulations in addition to will be expected inside the coming months to unveil a plan to boost infrastructure spending.
During the year, economic growth has increased, with GDP gaining 3.1 percent in addition to 3 percent the past two quarters in addition to on track to be around the same level inside the fourth quarter.
FOMC members noted multiple areas of positive developments. The labor market will be “operating at or above full employment,” GDP will be likely to “grow at a pace exceeding in which of potential output,” in addition to even inflation has been slowed only by “temporary or idiosyncratic factors.”
nevertheless on inflation, the consensus was weaker, with some members disagreeing with the notion in which all the softness was due to issues in which might fade.
additional members, though, thought the Fed could be in danger of waiting too long for inflation to rise in addition to could risk further instability inside the financial markets. Several members said the upcoming data might be critical in determining whether they felt the Fed was close to meeting its 2 percent inflation goal.
A “couple” members even suggested the Fed tweak its approach to inflation, moving away coming from the 2 percent goal in addition to toward a more nebulous “gradually rising path” in prices instead.
As a matter of policy, the committee chose not to hike rates at the meeting, as expected, nevertheless members indicated in which gradual rate hikes are likely inside the future. Markets are assigning a nearly 100 percent probability to a December rate hike, though only factoring in one or two so far for 2018.
Also at the meeting, members discussed the well-publicized reduction of the Fed’s $4.5 trillion balance sheet. Under the plan, the central bank will be letting a capped level of proceeds coming from the bonds in which owns run off each month. Fed officials agreed the program thus far has run smoothly.