Overshadowed?

Public attention this past week was riveted on the impeachment testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, which totally overshadowed Chairman Powell’s semiannual report and two days of testimony to Congress on monetary policy.

That outcome is probably not a bad one since there were no new insights provided nor any clues as to when or specifically why policy might change from what is now widely recognized as a pause. Indeed, Powell’s prepared remarks were virtually the same as those he delivered in his press conference after the FOMC’s October meeting. He made five key points:

1. October – “My colleagues at the Federal Reserve and I are dedicated to serving the American people. We do this by steadfastly pursuing the goals that Congress has given us: maximum employment and stable prices.”

November – “Let me start by saying that my colleagues and I strongly support the goals of maximum employment and price stability that Congress has set for monetary policy.”

2. October – “The US economy is in its 11th year of expansion, and the baseline outlook remains favorable.”

November – “The US economy is now in the 11th year of this expansion, and the baseline outlook remains favorable.”

3. October – “Overall, we continue to see sustained expansion of economic activity, a strong labor market, and inflation near our symmetric 2 percent objective as most likely.”

November – “Looking ahead, my colleagues and I see a sustained expansion of economic activity, a strong labor market, and inflation near our symmetric 2 percent objective as most likely.”

4. October – “Since monetary policy operates with a lag, the full effects of these adjustments on economic growth, the job market, and inflation will be realized over time. We see the current stance of monetary policy as likely to remain appropriate as long as incoming information about the economy remains broadly consistent with our outlook of moderate economic growth, a strong labor market, and inflation near our symmetric 2 percent objective. We believe monetary policy is in a good place to achieve these outcomes.”

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Disclaimer: The preceding was provided by Cumberland Advisors, Home Office: One Sarasota Tower, 2 N. Tamiami Trail, Suite 303, Sarasota, FL 34236; New Jersey Office: 614 Landis Ave, Vineland, NJ ...

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