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US VIEW: NatWest strategist Blake Gwinn noted Wed, the Fed raised its "target
fed funds rate band 25bps to 1.25%-1.50%. The dot medians shows 3 hikes for 2018
(unchanged from September), 3 hikes for 2019 (unchanged from September), and a
slight move up in 2020 from 1.9% to 2.1%. One notable change was to 2018 median
GDP growth, which was revised from +2.1% to +2.5%. In the statement, the Fed
continued to signal strong growth in the labor market and continued expectations
that inflation would return to target (2018 PCE deflator forecasted to be 1.9%
- He noted in Fed Chr Yellen's opening statement at final news conf as Fed Chr,
she "flagged" FOMC statement change to say "stance of monetary policy remains
accommodative, thereby supporting strong labor mkt conditions." Yellen said it
"highlights" FOMC expects "labor mkt to remain strong, with sustained job
creation, ample opportunities for workers and rising wages. We anticipate some
further strengthening in labor market conditions in the months ahead. However,
we expect the pace of job gains to moderate over time, as we gradually reduce
the degree of monetary policy accommodation."
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