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Fed Forecasts Faster Growth As Economy Gathers Steam

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The Federal Reserve revealed Wednesday that its policy makers had substantially upgraded their forecasts for how much the United States economy will grow this year, though they expect unemployment to remain painfully high for some time.

Top Fed officials now expect the output of goods and services to grow by 3.4 percent to 3.9 percent this year, up from the previous forecast, released in November, of 3 percent to 3.6 percent. But their grim outlook for the job market was largely unchanged: 8.8 percent to 9 percent unemployment this year, only one-tenth of a percentage point lower than in the November forecast.

Growth expectations were lifted by an improvement in consumer spending in the fourth quarter, though Fed officials were uncertain how long that would last, according to minutes released on Wednesday of the Fed’s policy meeting in late January.

“On the one hand, the additional spending could reflect pent-up demand following the downturn, or greater confidence on the part of households about the future, in which case it might be expected to continue,” the minutes noted. “On the other hand, the additional spending could prove short-lived, given that a good portion of it appeared to have occurred in relatively volatile categories such as autos.”

At the meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee, the Fed’s main policy arm, voted unanimously to continue a plan announced in November to purchase $600 billion in Treasury securities, the second round of a strategy that is intended to push down long-term interest rates and lift share prices. The strategy, known as quantitative easing, has been controversial — critics say it could set the stage for future inflation and asset bubbles — but the Fed has been fairly unified behind it.

The minutes indicated that Fed officials saw a diminishing risk of deflation, a protracted fall in prices of the sort that has afflicted Japan for more than two decades. That fear of deflation was a principal factor behind the decision in August to set the stage for the bond purchases.

So is output really going to grow by that much or is inflation just going to increase GDP figures?

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This looks like a snoozefest... right up until the end:

The information reviewed at the January 25–26 meeting indicated that the economic recovery was firming, though the expansion had not yet been sufficient to bring about a significant improvement in labor market conditions. Consumer spending rose strongly late last year, and the ongoing expansion in business outlays for equipment and software appeared to have been sustained in recent months. However, construction activity in both the residential and nonresidential sectors remained weak. Industrial production increased solidly in November and December. Modest gains in employment continued, and the unemployment rate remained elevated. Despite further increases in commodity prices, measures of underlying inflation remained subdued and longer-run inflation expectations were stable.

No employment didn't - not when you look at the additions to the labor force!

I don't have to buy any gas, right? Oh wait...

Source: http://gasbuddy.com

Real business investment in equipment and software appeared to have increased further in the fourth quarter, although likely at a more moderate rate than in the first three quarters of 2010.

Yeah, that's nice. Now talk to CISCO and others about margins. No margin, no profit. Oops.

Measures of underlying consumer price inflation remained low. In December, the core consumer price index (CPI) edged up, as goods prices were unchanged and prices of non-energy services rose slightly.

How long is that going to last given these trends in the PPI?

In the EMEs, concerns about inflation prompted a number of central banks to tighten policy. Some EMEs reportedly took steps to limit the appreciation of their currencies by intervening in foreign exchange markets, and some acted to discourage capital inflows.

And in others, there were riots. Including one (mostly-peaceful) revolution.

So far.

The staff anticipated that brisk increases in energy prices would raise total consumer price inflation above core inflation this year, but that upward pressure from energy prices would wane by next year.

Your frozen body will thaw and be carrion by the time this occurs, of course.

Meeting participants noted that headline inflation had been boosted by higher prices for energy and other commodities, as well as by increases in the prices of imported goods. Some participants indicated that while unit labor costs generally had declined and profit margins were wide, the higher commodity prices were boosting costs of production for many firms. Some business contacts indicated that they were going to try to pass a portion of these higher costs through to their customers but were uncertain about whether that would be possible given current market conditions.

Here's The Fed admitting that margin collapse is occurring and is likely to continue and get worse. Save this one folks, for when Bernanke says "but nobody saw it coming." Like hell. He's six months late from when I started hollering about it, but heh, better late than never.

Regarding risks to the inflation outlook, some participants noted that increases in energy and other commodity prices as well as in the prices of imported goods from EMEs posed upside risks.

Banksters: Causing and financing revolutions and wars for 1,000 years. Suckas.

Finally, some participants noted that if the very large size of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet led the public to doubt the Committee’s ability to withdraw monetary accommodation when doing so becomes appropriate, the result could be upward pressure on inflation expectations and so on actual inflation. To mitigate such risks, it was noted that the Committee should continue its planning for the eventual exit from the current exceptionally accommodative stance of policy.

Oh do come on. The entire economy is resting on a 12% of GDP federal deficit! Pull it - or the accommodation that allows it - and the economy is going to collapse. And oh by the way, estimates for this year on that deficit are $2 trillion - up from $1.7 trillion.

Best-a-luck jackasses.

But the real stunner is right here. This chart, which The Fed now has on record, is the defined and absolute proof that they know with absolute certainty that the path the government is on, and the World Economic Forum said we needed to be on (that is to double both government and broad economic debt) cannot possibly work.

Why not? Well, here:

At the outside in the longer run they believe we will see 2.8% GDP growth. Over the next nine years this means we will see 28.2% growth in GDP, all-in.

Debt is projected to have to double to produce this on a government and systemic level? That means debt-carrying costs will have to double against an increase of 28% in output.

Like hell that will happen. We hit the wall in 2007 as a consequence of inability to cover debt service.

Folks, the FOMC put you on notice with this set of minutes: They know this is going to blow up, they expect it to blow up, and there is no way to avoid it blowing up as carrying costs will double while the output to cover it will grow by less than 30%.

Get ready.

Dennigers take on the FOMC meetings.

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  • 276 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?

      • down 5% +
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      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%

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