Talking about talking about tapering

Fed officials may finally begin ‘talking about talking about’ tapering their asset purchases at next week’s FOMC meeting. But with recent data leaving the economy still some way from making “substantial further progress” towards the Fed’s full employment goal, we suspect that taper won’t begin until early next year.
Andrew Hunter Senior US Economist
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US Economics Weekly

Debt ceiling could still delay QE taper

This week the focus was on the Fed, which appears intent on announcing a QE taper at the next FOMC meeting in early November. Next week the focus will shift to fiscal policy, with the Democrat’s plans to boost infrastructure and social welfare spending balanced on a knife edge. A debt ceiling crisis in late-October could even delay the Fed’s taper plans.

24 September 2021

US Economics Update

Taper to begin in November

Fed officials gave a heavy hint today that the QE taper will be formally announced in November and, presumably in response to concerns that the surge in inflation won't be as transitory as they originally hoped, there were notable increases in the median interest rate projections.

22 September 2021

US Chart Book

Data provide mixed signals on Delta impact

The latest data provide mixed signals on the impact that the Delta variant is having on the economy. The high frequency indicators for high contact services suggest that activity levelled out in August and weakened a little in early September. Last month’s retail sales report also revealed that spending on food services was broadly flat, but control group sales nevertheless rebounded strongly, as households refocused their spending online and in favour of goods consumption. Elsewhere, leisure and hospitality employment was unchanged in August which, because that sector had been such an important contributor to the strength of the gains in earlier months, helps to explain why payroll employment increased by little more than 200,000 last month. Finally, even though activity only stagnated, the prices for some high contact service activity like hotels and air fares fell quite sharply. The good news is that, with Delta variant infections having now peaked, we should see some rebound in affected activity and employment soon, although the downside is that could contribute to a renewed pick-up in inflation linked to reopening.

21 September 2021

More from Andrew Hunter

US Economics Update

Surveys suggest labour shortages persist

In contrast to the stronger payrolls figures released last week, the latest survey data suggest that labour shortages remain acute. That supports our view that the acceleration in employment growth in June probably wasn’t a sign of things to come and suggests that wage growth is set for a further acceleration.

7 July 2021

US Economics Weekly

Stronger payrolls intensify focus on tapering

We aren’t convinced that it will mark the start of a sustained acceleration, but the stronger gain in June payrolls will embolden those Fed officials calling for an earlier end to the Fed’s asset purchases.

2 July 2021

US Data Response

Employment Report (Jun.)

The stronger 850,000 rise in non-farm payrolls in June may be a sign that some of the temporary labour shortages holding back the employment recovery are starting to ease. But with the labour force rising by just 151,000 and still more than three million below its pre-pandemic peak, we aren’t entirely convinced that this is the start of a much stronger trend.

2 July 2021
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