FOMC announces the end of QE in October.. if economy matches expectations

By FXstreet.com | Updated July 30, 2014 AAA

FXStreet (San Francisco) - The FOMC discussed the terms of the last days of the bond purchasing program in the last meeting of June.

According to the minutes, the QE is likely to end with $15B reduction that "would occur following the October meeting," if the economy progresses as expected.

In this framework, "most participants agreed that adjustments in IOER should play a central role during the normalization process."

The minutes also commented officials fears about the way investors are taking account the financial risks.

Key quotes:

If the economy progresses about as the Committee expects, warranting reductions in the pace of purchases at each upcoming meeting, this final reduction would occur following the October meeting.

Most participants agreed that adjustments in the rate of interest on excess reserves (IOER) should play a central role during the normalization process. It was generally agreed that an ON RRP facility with an interest rate set below the IOER rate could play a useful supporting role by helping to firm the floor under money market interest rates.

Many participants agreed that ending reinvestments at or after the time of liftoff would be best, with most of these participants preferring to end them after liftoff. These participants thought that an earlier change to the reinvestment policy would involve risks to the economic outlook if it was seen as suggesting that the Committee was likely to tighten policy more rapidly than currently anticipated or if it had unexpectedly large effects in MBS markets; moreover, an early change could add complexity to the Committee's communications at a time when it would be clearer to signal changes in policy through interest rates alone.

The information reviewed for the June 17-18 meeting indicated that real gross domestic product (GDP) had dropped significantly early in the year but that economic growth had bounced back in recent months.

The average pace of employment gains stepped up, and the unemployment rate declined markedly in April and held steady in May, although it was still elevated. Consumer price inflation picked up in recent months, while measures of longer-run inflation expectations remained stable.

On balance, financial conditions in the United States remained supportive of growth in economic activity and employment: The expected path of the federal funds rate was slightly lower in the long run, yields on longer-term Treasury securities moved down modestly, equity prices rose, corporate bond spreads narrowed, and the foreign exchange value of the dollar was little changed.

Market participants continued to discuss the decreases in long forward rates since the beginning of the year and pointed to a variety of domestic and global factors possibly contributing to this trend, including lower expectations for potential growth and policy rates in the longer run, a decline in inflation risk premiums, purchases of longer-term securities by price-insensitive investors, unwinding of short Treasury positions, and falling interest rate uncertainty. Measures of longer-horizon inflation compensation based on Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities remained about steady.

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