April 16, 2024

Taylor Daily Press

Complete News World

The US central bank closes the faucet

The Federal Reserve begins to gradually reduce its bond purchases as the US economy has sufficiently recovered from the pandemic.

The US Central Bank (Fed) is taking an important first step towards normalizing its monetary policy. On Wednesday, it decided to cut its purchases of government bonds and regroup mortgages by $15 billion per month from November. “This means that we will be ending bond buying by the middle of next year,” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said at a news conference.

We will finish buying bonds by the middle of next year.

Jerome Powell

President of the US Central Bank

According to the central bank, “significant progress” has been made towards its twin goals of maximizing employment and stabilizing prices. The unemployment rate fell from a peak of 14.8 percent in April of last year to 4.8 percent in September. At 4.4 percent, inflation is more than double the long-term target of 2 percent on average.

Temporary high inflation

The central bank says high inflation mainly reflects factors that may be temporary. He added that “the imbalance between supply and demand caused by the epidemic and the reopening of the economy contributed to a significant increase in prices in some sectors.” The Fed expects supply issues and shortages of raw materials and parts to ease next year.

4.400 billion

Purchased debt securities

The US central bank has bought $4,400 billion in debt securities since the pandemic began.

A reduction in bond purchases is not a sign that a rate hike is imminent.

Jerome Powell

President of the US Central Bank

After the widely awaited decision to cut bond purchases, the question arises of when the second step – raising short-term interest rates – will follow. Powell stressed that “reducing bond purchases is not an indication that a rate hike is imminent.” “The conditions for raising interest rates have not been met, because we have not yet reached the maximum employment opportunity.”

job market

There are still 5 million fewer jobs in the US than there were before the pandemic began. Job creation has slowed significantly in recent months as companies fail to fill the very large number of vacancies. Millions of Americans are no longer available for the job market, because they retired early during the pandemic or fear contamination from the delta variant of the coronavirus. A tight labor market is causing wages to rise sharply, but Powell indicated he’s not too concerned about that right now.

We may reach the maximum number of jobs in the second half of next year.

Jerome Powell

President of the US Central Bank

Wall Street rises to a record high

US stock markets reacted positively to the press conference held by Jerome Powell, Chairman of the US Central Bank. They paid particular attention to the message that the Fed is in no hurry to raise interest rates.

The Dow Jones and S&P500 indexes closed 0.3 and 0.7 percent, respectively, although they were slightly lower just before the rate decision was announced. Nasdaq Tech gained 1 percent.

Bond and currency markets reacted relatively calmly. The US 10-year bond yield rose 1 basis point to 1.58%. The dollar weakened slightly, which pushed the euro above $1.16.

It is clear that the Fed is reducing its support for the economy faster than the European Central Bank (ECB). The European Central Bank plans to continue buying government and corporate bonds for some time to come, and committee chair Christine Lagarde stressed on Wednesday that a rate hike in 2022 is “highly unlikely”.