【英语财经】美联储继续缩减资产购买 Economic activity has rebounded, says Fed

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2014-6-19 07:01

小艾摘要: The US Federal Reserve tapered its asset purchases by another $10bn to a monthly pace of $35bn in an upbeat statement that made no concession to signs of higher inflation.The rate-setting Federal Open ...
Economic activity has rebounded, says Fed
The US Federal Reserve tapered its asset purchases by another $10bn to a monthly pace of $35bn in an upbeat statement that made no concession to signs of higher inflation.

The rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee said that “economic activity has rebounded in recent months” but left its language on inflation unchanged.

Coming despite a run of stronger inflation numbers in recent months, that suggests the Fed is confident there is still spare capacity in the economy, and it can keep rates low well into 2015 without triggering inflation.

The FOMC voted for the cut in asset purchases by a majority of 10-0, with all of the new members – Stanley Fischer, Lael Brainard and Loretta Mester – joining the consensus.

In an important sign of change to the Fed’s thinking, however, the FOMC cut its forecasts for long-run growth in the US economy and the average level of interest rates once the economy is back to normal.

The long-run numbers describe some of the most fundamental parameters of the US economy – its potential to grow and the long-run price of money – and they are seldom changed. The downward revisions show the Fed is becoming more pessimistic on the long-run potential of the world’s most important economy.

Its longer-run growth estimate came down fractionally, from 2.25 to 2.2 per cent, while the median estimate for interest rates in the long-run fell from 4 to 3.75 per cent.

As expected, the Fed slashed its growth forecast for 2014, reflecting the extra distance the economy has to climb after cold weather caused output to fall in the first quarter. The FOMC now expects growth of 2.2 per cent this year, down from the 2.9 per cent it expected in March.

It kept its 2015 and 2016 growth forecasts exactly the same, but moved its unemployment forecasts a little lower, to 6.05 per cent for the end of 2014 rather than the 6.2 per cent it predicted in March.

The Fed kept its inflation forecasts almost totally unchanged, however, edging them up a fraction to 1.6 per cent for this year and predicting below target inflation all the way until the end of 2016. That suggests it does not believe stronger price numbers recently herald an inflation surge.

The Fed’s interest rate forecasts on its infamous “dot chart” edged slightly upwards: whereas the median FOMC official expected end-of-2015 rates to stand at 1 per cent in March, the median is now between 1 and 1.25 per cent. The end of 2016 median was up from 2.25 per cent to 2.5 per cent.

That is hard to interpret, however, since the change was fractional and Lael Brainard, one of the new governors, joined the committee too late to submit forecasts at this meeting.

“Labour market indicators generally showed further improvement,” said the FOMC. “Household spending appears to be rising moderately and business fixed investment resumed its advance, while the recovery in the housing sector remained slow.”

美联储(Fed)发表一份乐观声明,将其资产购买计划再缩减100亿美元,至每月350亿美元,而且没有对通胀上升的迹象做出回应。

负责确定利率的联邦公开市场委员会(FOMC)表示,“最近几个月经济活动出现反弹”,但其有关通胀的措辞毫无变动。

尽管最近几个月,一连串的数据显示通胀上升,但美联储的声明暗示,它相信美国经济仍有闲置产能,因此它可在不引发通胀的情况下将低利率维持到2015年。

FOMC以10:0的票数投票支持缩减资产购买计划,所有新委员——斯坦利?费希尔(Stanley Fischer)、莱尔?布雷纳德(Lael Brainard)和洛丽塔?梅斯特(Loretta Mester)都投了赞成票。

然而,FOMC下调了其对美国经济长期增长以及(经济回归正常后)利率平均水平的预测。这是一个重要迹象,表明美联储的看法发生了变化。

长期数据描述了美国经济中一些最根本参数(增长潜力和长期资金价格),这些数据很少被修改。下调这些数据表明,美联储对全球最重要经济体的长期潜力变得更为悲观。

美联储的较长期增长预测估值从2.25%小幅下调至2.2%,而长期利率预测中值从4%下调至3.75%。

正如外界预期的那样,美联储下调了2014年的增长预测,这反映出在今年第一季度寒冷天气导致产出下滑之后,美国经济需要攀登更大的高度。FOMC现在预测,今年美国经济将增长2.2%,低于今年3月2.9%的预测。

美联储对2015年和2016年的增长预测与上次完全一样,但略微下调了其对2014年年底失业率的预测,从今年3月预测的6.2%下调至6.05%

然而,美联储的通胀预测几乎与之前完全一样,只是将今年的通胀率预测小幅上调至1.6%,并预测到2016年底之前通胀将一直低于目标。这似乎表明,美联储不认为最近比较强劲的通胀数据预示着通胀将飙升。

在美联储著名的“点阵图”(dot chart)上,美联储的利率预测小幅上调:今年3月,FOMC官方预测中值显示,到2015年底利率将保持在1%,如今的预测中值介于1%至1.25%之间。2016年底的利率预测中值从2.25%上调至2.5%。

然而,这很难解读,因为调整幅度较小,而且新任理事之一莱尔?布雷纳德加入FOMC的时间太晚,未能在此次会议上递交其预测。

“劳动力市场指标整体显示出进一步改善,”联邦公开市场委员会称,“家庭支出似乎正温和上升,企业固定投资再度回暖,而房地产行业的复苏仍然缓慢。”

译者/梁艳裳

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