Arab Today, arab today us fed meeting to launch interest rate forecasts
Last Updated : GMT 02:58:58
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

US Fed meeting to launch interest rate forecasts

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today US Fed meeting to launch interest rate forecasts

Washington - AFP

The US Federal Reserve dives into the unknown on Tuesday with a two-day policy meeting that will provide an interest rate forecast to markets for the first time ever. No change in the Fed\'s current key ultra-low interest rate is expected. But the expanded insight into the thinking of Fed governors comes as the central bank struggles with a raft of challenges, including high unemployment and a housing market crash dampening the recovery from a deep recession. Fed-watchers are geared up for a barrage of information after the Federal Open Market Committee meeting ends Wednesday. Nomura analysts called the FOMC meeting \"historic\" and said it \"will culminate in an historic amount of new information for market participants to digest.\" Some analysts predicted the FOMC\'s post-meeting policy statement would push the next rate hike back to 2014, noting that such an assumption already had been priced into the markets. The fed funds rate -- the overnight interbank lending rate -- has been anchored between zero and 0.25 percent since December 2008. The Fed will also release the panel\'s economic projections, which for the first time will include individual committee members\' forecasts for the key federal funds rate and the timing of the next rate hike. All eyes will then turn to chairman Ben Bernanke\'s news conference for his presentation of the economic projections and the monetary policy decision. Given the recent declines in the jobless rate -- which is still relatively high, at 8.5 percent in December -- Nomura analysts said that any change in projections for unemployment \"will be of particular import.\" As for the narrative that will accompany the projections, \"it would be useful to know participants\' assessment of risks to the outlook surrounding Europe, US fiscal policy, and commodity prices,\" they said. The Fed\'s Beige Book report on US regional economies prepared for the meeting said the economy was growing at a \"modest to moderate pace\" but one that was still too weak to spur inflation. The Fed, with a dual mandate of maximum employment and stable prices, has highlighted the high unemployment rate and the depressed housing market as major obstacles to a sustainable recovery. There is speculation that the FOMC may decide the economy needs extra juice to keep growth humming, particularly as Europe veers back toward recession amid the eurozone sovereign debt crisis. John Kicklighter of DailyFX played down expectations of any strongly market-moving action from the Federal Reserve. \"This particular meeting is a unique event as they will start producing interest rate forecasts along with their updates on growth and policy bearings,\" he said. \"Real impact potential, though, comes from the unknown -- speculation of QE3 and progress on the most recent \'hope revival\' for the euro.\" Most analysts say they do not expect the Fed to initiate a \"QE3\" -- a new bond-buying program aimed at pushing down interest rates even further. The Fed has undertaken two rounds of quantitative easing (QE) -- or asset purchases -- to stimulate the economy since the 2008 financial crisis.  

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