February 01, 2023 19:13 GMT
Statement Raises Questions On Global Growth, Pared-Back Inflation Language
The February FOMC statement (link to comparison with December's here) maintains previous guidance, with barely a faint nod to a pause coming soon (now eyeing the "extent" rather than the "pace" of future hikes, but maintaining "ongoing increases" language which makes it clear they're not done yet.)
- The new statement tones down the inflation language, deleting the factors behind it being elevated (supply and demand imbalances etc), and saying it's "eased somewhat". Not a huge surprise but Powell will probably want to explain this one - the nuances behind the goods vs housing vs services ex-housing are the drivers of policy now and may have been too much to include in the statement at this stage.
- Another interesting change is the deletion of the reference to the Ukraine-Russia war contributing to upward pressure on inflation and weighing on global activity - this would appear to suggest that they are not so worried anymore about either its effects on inflation or weak global economic activity (a nod to China/ recent above-consensus Eurozone readings?). Definitely a question on the latter for Powell in the presser.
- And finally, they removed the "readings on public health" (which referred to Covid) as a factor in the Committee's assessments. We've been waiting for that one for a few meetings now.
- Onto the press conference at 1430ET/1930GMT.