Fed officials were sharply divided over September rate cut

Fed officials were sharply divided over September rate cut

Fed officials were sharply divided over September rate cut

Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG, a global financial group, said, "We would bet that Powell will deliver the third rate cut the markets are clamoring for on October 30 but rate cuts beyond this. start to look less like the insurance style cuts" that Powell has referred to.

Several members also noted that statistical models created to gauge the probability of a recession over the medium term had increased notably in recent months. And although Powell said earlier today, once again, that the economy is in a good place with a strong job market, yesterday he announced that the Fed will begin expanding it's balance sheet once again (but it is not QE4) and that the Fed would remain data dependent.

In the question and answer period after his speech, Powell compared the current period to two instances in the 1990's when the Fed cut rates three times in a successful effort to keep an economic expansion on track.

Senior Fed officials have not expressly pushed back against those expectations in recent public comments.

In St Cloud, Minnesota, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said he was "generally in favour" of lower interest rates, but "I don't know how much lower they should go". Five thought the rate cut was a mistake, and five thought it was appropriate but penciled in no further cuts.

Powell said that work done by the Fed mining private-sector data suggested the most recent job gains may ultimately be revised lower, but that the pace would still be above the level needed to hold unemployment steady. "The economy took that accommodation onboard and gathered steam again, and the expansion continued".

The US Dollar was mostly unchanged versus other currencies on the release of the minutes, as the market had priced in most of the remarks.

"Clearly, things are slowing a bit now...but [growth] may just be gathering itself", he said.

While officials' baseline outlook for the economy remained favorable at last month's meeting, a lot of them premised that outlook on the Fed cutting rates as anticipated by financial markets, the minutes said. The minutes said that "a few participants" at the September meeting said prices in futures markets "were now suggesting greater provision of accommodation at coming meetings than they saw as appropriate".

These officials thought "it might become necessary for the committee to seek a better alignment of market expectations regarding the policy rate path with policymakers' own expectations for that path", the minutes said. "I'm not sure. But I'm certainly open minded to those arguments", said Mr Evans, who supported both Fed rate cuts this year to help the Fed faster achieve its 2 per cent inflation goal.

As a result, some of these officials wanted the Fed to provide more specificity about when it might be done cutting interest rates in response to rising trade policy uncertainty, the minutes said.

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