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Citi sees a "small probability" the FOMC will give more decisive guidance on tapering at the April FOMC, but "the much more likely scenario" is a tweaked statement and little change in Powell's tone.
- "A hawkish surprise would be if the Fed acknowledged progress more prominently, paving the way to an advance warning of tapering asset purchases."
- Statement: To reflect a cautiously more optimistic outlook.
- Press conference: Powell to reiterate that the FOMC awaits more evidence that rehiring is continuing.
- Future action: More formal guidance "well ahead" of tapering may emerge at/before the June FOMC.
- Technical changes to IOER / ON RRP possible at this meeting, but base case is delay.