Fed is ready and willing to cut if necessary – Standard Chartered

Sonia Meskin, US economist at Standard Chartered, points out that in the June FOMC meeting, the Committee clearly left the door open for a rate cut, without indicating a definitive commitment to easing and was consistently communicated in the Summary of Economic Projections (SEP), the statement and the press conference.

Key Quotes

“We continue to expect a 25bps FFTR cut in July; we believe it would take a definitively positive G20 outcome and an improvement in the data for the FOMC not to cut next month. A 50bps cut is also on the table in case of a poor G20 outcome or a pronounced economic deterioration.”

“Policy easing would be largely pre-emptive: the SEP and the post-meeting statement emphasised little change to the baseline outlook for growth and inflation but noted increasing downside risks, primarily from slowing global growth and trade tensions.”

“Also in line with our expectations, Chair Powell mentioned in the press conference that a key goal of the ongoing policy framework review is to strengthen the FOMC’s commitment to the 2% medium-term inflation objective through communication strategies. We expect this to come in the form of forward guidance, as we described in Fed framework review won’t bring pre-emptive cuts. However, further downside risks to growth would be a concern, as they could entrench low inflation expectations. Separately, contrary to our expectation, the FOMC did not signal an end to the balance-sheet taper before September 2019.”

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