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Recently and I did see that it moved up back up this morning. I do think that it's probably an important indicator. The the ratio I guess it's back up to 1.9 job openings to uh to unemployed people, people who are looking for work. So it's an it's an indicator but nonetheless we you're right. We do see wages moving down you can look across the rest of the labor market, you still see very high uh payroll job creation. Um and uh you know, quits are still at an elevated level. So many, many by many, many indicators. Uh The job market is still very strong. Call me in the house. Thank you Colby smith with the Financial Times. Given the economic data since the december meeting is the trajectory for the Fed funds rate in the most recent SCP still the best guide post for the policy path forward or does ongoing now mean more than two rate rises now. So you're right at the december meeting, we all wrote down our our best estimates of of what we thought the ultimate level would be and that's obviously back in december and the median for that was between five and five and a quarter percent. Um At the March meeting, we're gonna update those assessments. We did not update them today. We did however, continue to say that we believe ongoing rate hikes will be appropriate to attain a sufficiently restrictive stance of policy to bring inflation back down to 2%. Um We think we've covered a lot of ground and financial conditions have certainly tightened uh I would say uh we still think there's work to do there. We haven't made a decision on on exactly where that will be. I think, you know, we're going to be looking carefully at the incoming data between now and the March meeting and then the May meeting. Um I don't feel a lot of certainty about where that where that will be. It could certainly be higher than we're writing down right now. If we come to the view that we need to write down uh you know, to to move rates up beyond what we said in december, we would certainly do that at the same time. If the data come in in the other direction and we'll, you know, we'll make data dependent decisions at coming meetings of course. How are you viewing the kind of balance of risk between those two options of um you know, the likelihood of maybe falling short of that or going beyond that level. I guess. I would say it this way, I continue to think that all right, it's very difficult to manage the risk of doing too little and finding out in six or 12 months that we actually were close but didn't get the job done, inflation springs back and we have to go back in and now you really do worry about expectations getting uh unanchored and that kind of thing. This is a very difficult risk to manage. Whereas uh, you know, of course we have no incentive, no desire to over tighten, But we, you know, if we if we feel like we've gone too far, we can certainly could certain and inflation is coming down faster than we expect, then we have tools that would that would work on that. So I I do think that in this situation where we have still the highest inflation in 40 years You know, the job is not fully done, as I mentioned, started to mention earlier, we have a sector that represents 56% of the core inflation index where we don't see disinflation yet. So We don't see it, it's not happening yet inflation in in the core services. XX housing is still running at 4% on a six and 12 month basis. So there's not nothing happening there in the other two sectors representing you know, less than 50%. You actually, I think now have a story that is credible that's coming together. Although you don't actually see disinflation yet in housing services, but but it's in the pipeline. Right? So for the for the third sector, we don't see anything here. So I think it would be premature. We very premature to declare victory or two to think that we've really got this, we need to see our goal of course is to bring inflation down and how do we how do we get that done? There are many, many factors driving inflation in that sector and they should be coming into play that have inflation, the disinflationary process begin in that sector. But so far we don't see that and I think until we do, we see ourselves as having a lot of work left to do. Howard howard with Reuters and thanks as usual. So I just wanted to connect a couple dots here. The statement made a number of changes uh, that seem to be saying things are getting better. You're saying inflation, disease has eased. Uh, that's new. You've taken out references to the war in Ukraine is causing price increases. You've taken out references to the pandemic, you've eliminate at all the reasons that you said prices were being driven higher yet that's not mapping to any change in how you describe policy, we still have ongoing increases to come. So I'm wondering why is that the case? And does it have more to do with uncertainty around the outlook or more to do with you not wanting to give a very overeager market a reason to get ahead of itself and overreact. So I guess I would, I would say it this way, uh we can now say, I think for the first time that the disinflationary process has started, we can see that and we see it really in goods prices so far goods prices is a big sector. We this is what we thought would happen since the very beginning and now here it is actually happening and for the reasons we thought, well, you know, it's supply change that shortages and its demand revolving back towards services. So this is a good thing, this is a good thing, but that's, you know, around a quarter of the P. C. E. Price index, core pC price index. So the second sector is is housing services and that's driven by very different things. And we as I mentioned with housing services, we expect and other forecasters expect that measured inflation will continue moving up for several months, but will then come down assuming that that new leases continue to be soft. And we do assume that so we think that that's sort of in the pipeline and we actually see disinflation in the good sector and we see it in the pipeline for two sectors that amount to a little less than half. So this this is good. And we note that when we say inflation is coming down that this is good, we expect to see that that disinflation process will be seen. We hope soon in the core goods uh X housing, sorry, the core services. X. Housing sector that I talked about. We don't see it yet. It's, you know, it's it's seven or eight different kinds of services, Not all of them are the same. And, you know, we have a sense of what's going on in each of those different uh subsections um a probably the biggest part of it, probably 60% of of that is, you know, research which show is sensitive to slack in the economy? And so the labor market will probably be important, Some of the other ones that's labor market is not going to be important. Many other factors will drive it. In any case, we don't see disinflation in that sector yet. And I think we need to see that it's the majority of the core pC index, which is the thing that we think is the best predictor of headline pc, which is our mandate. So it's not that we're not we're neither optimistic or pessimistic. We're just telling you that we we don't see it inflation moving down yet in that large sector. I think we will fairly soon, but we don't see it yet until we do. I think we, you know, we see ourselves, we got to be honest with ourselves, we see ourselves as having perhaps more persistent, we'll see more persistent inflation in that sector, which will take longer to get down. Um And we're just gonna have to we have to complete the job. And that's that's what we're here for. Nick timiraos. The Wall Street Journal Chair Powell. You observed several years ago that we learned we can have a low unemployment rate without above target inflation. And we have learned lately that inflation can come down from its uncomfortably high level despite a historically low unemployment rate, given that? And given how much you did over the last year. Why do you think further rate increases are needed? Why not stop here and see what transpires in the coming months before raising rates again? So we, you know, we've raised rates 4.5% points and we're talking about a couple of more rate hikes to get to that level we think is appropriately restrictive and why do we think that's probably necessary? We think because inflation is still running very hot, we're of course taking into account long and variable lags and we're thinking about that. Um It really the story we're telling about inflation is to ourselves and the way we understand it is basically the three things that I've just gone through a couple of times and again we don't see it affecting the services sector X. X. Housing yet. Um But I mean I think our assessment is that we're not very far from that level. Uh We don't know that though, We don't know that. So I think we're we're, you know, we're living in a world of significant uncertainty. I would look across the rate, the spectrum of rates and see that real rates are now positive right by, you know, by and appropriate set of measures are positive across the yield curve. I think policy is restrictive. We're trying to make a fine judgment about how much is restrictive enough. That's all and we're gonna, you know, that's why we're slowing down to 25 basis points? We're gonna be carefully watching the economy and watching inflation and watching the progress of the disinflationary process. Did you or your colleagues discuss the conditions for a pause at this meeting this week? You know, you'll see the minutes will come out in three weeks and we'll give you a lot of detail, You know, we spent a lot of time talking about the path ahead and, uh, and the state of the economy and uh, I wouldn't want to start to drive the describe all the details there. But that was the sense of the discussion was really talking quite a bit about the path forward victoria. Um, High Chair Powell. I wanted to ask about the debt ceiling. Um, given that we've now hit up against it. Um, I was wondering if the US goes past the X date? Will the Fed do whatever the Treasury directs as it relates to making payments as the fiscal agent? Or will it do it, do its own analysis of any legal constraints. So, your question is, would we say your question again, Will the Fed do what Treasury directs as it relates to making payments? Or will it do its own analysis of any legal constraints. So you're really asking about you asking about prioritization in effect? So I feel like I have to say this. There's only one way forward here and that is for Congress to raise the debt ceiling so that the United States Government can pay all of its obligations when due and any deviations from that path would be highly risky. And that no one should assume that the Fed can protect the economy from the consequences of failing to act in a timely manner. In terms of our relationship with the Treasury, we are their fiscal agent and I'm just gonna leave it at that. Are you actively doing any planning of of what might happen in the event that that would happen? I'm just gonna leave it at that. This is a matter that's to be resolved between really, it's really Congress's job to raise the debt ceiling and I gather their discussions happening, but they don't involve us. We're not uh we're not involved in those discussions. So were the fiscal agent Gina in this Gina, smiling from the new york times. Thanks for taking our questions. I wonder was there any discussion today of the possibility of pausing rate increases and then restarting them. Lorie Logan from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas seemed to suggest that that would be a possibility in a recent speech and I wonder if that view is broadly shared on the committee. So, um, The committee obviously did not see this as a time to pause. We judge that the appropriate, you know, thing to do with this meeting was to raise the federal funds rate by 25 basis points and we said that we continue to anticipate that ongoing increases in the target range will be appropriate in order to attain that stance of sufficiently restrictive monetary policy. That will bring inflation down to 2%. So that's that's the judgment that we made. Um you know, we're gonna we're gonna write down new forecasts in March and uh and we'll, you know, we'll certainly be looking at the incoming data as everyone else will. Sorry, I should have been clear. I mean, would it be possible to take a meeting off for example and then resume? You know, could you, rather than just doing at every meeting move go a little bit more slowly, take some gaps in between moves? I mean, I think I this is not something that the committee is thinking about are exploring in any kind of detail in principle though. You know, we used to think we used to do was go every other meeting if you remember 25 basis points and that was considered a fast pace. Um, So I think a lot of options are available and I mean, you saw what the Bank of Canada did and you know, they left it that they're willing to to raise rates after pausing. But this is not something that this is not something that that the Federal open market committee is on the on the point of deciding right now. Steve steve Leeson CNBC Mr Chairman. Um The SCP has the uh Pc inflation rate in 2023 at 3.1%. Meanwhile the three month annualized P. C. Is 2.1%. And you've achieved this without going to your 5.1% funds rate which is what you have penciled in for this year. Um And you've also achieved it without the 1% point increase in the unemployment rate which you have canceled in for this year. I'm wondering if you've considered the idea whether or not um your understanding of the inflation dynamic may be wrong and it's possible to achieve these things without raising rates that high. Um And also without uh without the surge in unemployment. And specifically I wonder if you might comment on the uh speech given by Vice Chair Little branded who said to the extent that inputs other than wages may be responsible in part for important price increases for some non housing services. An unwinding of these factors, in other words it may not be wages. The idea that it may not require unemployment rising to get this sector of inflation under control. Thanks. So a couple things. First on the on the forecast um If you're right, if you take very short term 33 months a measures of pc core pc inflation that they're quite low right now. But that's because it's driven by you know, significantly negative readings from goods inflation, most forecasters and uh would would think that the significantly negative readings will be transitory and that goods inflation will move up fairly soon back up to its longer run trend of something around zero, something like that. So a lot of forecasts would call for core pc to go back up to 4% by the middle of the year, for example. So that's really where the sustainable level is is more like at 4%. So that would suggest there's there's work left to do. Uh you know, let's let's say inflation does come down much faster than we expect, which is which is possible. As I mentioned, you know, obviously our policies data dependent, we would take that into account in terms of the non sorry, the core non housing services, as as I mentioned earlier, it's a very diverse sector, six or seven sectors and um so sectors that represent 55 or 60% of that uh sub sectors of that sector um are we think are sensitive to slack in the economy, sensitive to the labor market in a way, but some of the other sectors are not, and for example, you know, financial services is a big sector that's really not driven by by by uh labor, labor markets, wages. Um So that's why I said there there are a number of things that will affect take take take restaurants, right? So clearly labor is important for restaurants, but so are food prices And you know, transportation services is going to be driven by by fuel prices for example, so there are lots of things in that mix that will drive inflation. I would say overall though, my own view would be that you're not going to have a, you know, a sustainable return to 2% inflation in that sector without a better balance in the labor market. And um I don't know what that will require in terms of increased unemployment. Your question, Um I do think there are a number of dimensions through which the labor market can soften. And so far, we've we've we've got, as I mentioned in goods, we have inflation moving down without the softening in the labor market. I think most forecasters would say that uh that unemployment will probably rise a bit from here, but I still think I continue to think that there's a path to getting inflation back down to 2% without a really significant economic decline or a significant increase in unemployment. And that's that's because this, you know, the setting we're in is quite different. The the inflation that we originally got was very much a collision between very strong demand and hard supply constraints, not something that you really have seen in prior uh you know, in prior business cycles. And so now we see goods inflation coming down for the reasons we thought, and we understand why housing inflation will come down, and I think, well, a story will emerge on, on the uh non housing services sector soon enough, but I think there is, there's ongoing disinflation and we don't yet see uh we don't we don't yet see weakening in the labor market. So we'll have to see. Certainly possible. Yeah, absolutely, it's possible, you know, it's a question no one really knows, I think it's because this is this, this is not like the other business cycles in so many ways. Um it may well be uh that as As that it will take more slowing than, than we expect that I expect to get inflation down to 2%, but, I don't, I don't that's not my base case, my base case is that uh the economy can return to 2% inflation without a really significant downturn or a really big increase in unemployment. I think that's that's a possible outcome. I think many, many forecasters would say it's not the most likely outcome, but, but I would say there's, there's a, there's a chance of it, Michael McKee from Bloomberg TV and radio, I'd like to pick up on what you were just saying about a substantial downturn and ask with the full weight of your tightening, not in place yet. And uh with the progress against inflation, there's still a lot of talk about very, very slow growth going forward in 2023 and the recession indicators are all suggesting uh that we are going to see recession this year. So I'm wondering if you've changed your view or you have a more nuanced view of what you think the danger to economic growth is going forward and whether you're very close to uh perhaps tipping it into the wrong place, which calls for more restraint on your part. So I I do think you most forecasts and and you know, my own assessment would be that that growth will continue, positive growth will continue, but at a subdued pace as it did last year, we had growth of GDP growth of 1% last year. And also final sales growth, which you think is which we think is a better indicator of about 1% I think, you know, most forecasts and and certainly my assessment would be that growth will continue at a fairly subdued level this year. Um There are other factors though, that need to be considered. You you will have seen that the global picture is uh is improving a bit uh and and that will matter for us, potentially the labor market remains very, very strong and that's job creation, that's wages, um as inflation does come down sentiment will improve you also, um state and local governments are, are really flush these days with uh with, you know, money and many of them are considering tax cuts or even sending checks. So I think that's gonna support, they're also spending a lot, there's a lot of spending coming into construction pipeline, both private and public and so that's going to support economic activity. So I think there's a there's a good chance that that those factors will help support positive growth this year. And that's my base case is is that that that there will be positive growth this year. Rich, thank you. Rich Miller from Bloomberg. First of all, how are you doing? Uh Second off, I think it's earlier on the press conference, you said you need to see substantially more evidence uh of inflation come coming down. Can you give us some idea of what you're thinking of? You mentioned three months that we've seen three months in a row. Governor Wallace suggested he might want to see six months. Is it just the inflation data or do you have to see the the labor market coming back into better balance to have that substantially more evidence? Uh So I don't think there's a, you know, going to be a light switch flipped or anything like that. I think it's just an accumulating accumulation of evidence. So of course, we'll be looking by the time of the March meeting, we'll have two more employment reports, two more CP I reports and we'll be looking at those carefully as all of us will and we'll be asking ourselves what are they telling us? And and uh soon after that we'll have another e ci uh wage report which as you know, is is a report that we we like because it is just for composition and it's very complete and you know, the one we got, I guess it was yesterday was was constructive. It's, you know, it's it shows wages coming down but still at a high level they're still still at a level that's way above well above where they were before the before the pandemic. So I don't want to put a number on it in terms of months. But as the accumulated evidence comes in it's going to be reflected in our assessment of the outlook and that will be that will be reflected in our policy over time. But I will say though we you know it is our job to restore price stability and achieve 2% inflation for the benefit of the American public were not market participants have a very different job. It's a fine job, it's a great job victor. I did that job for for years but in one form or another but you know we have to deliver that and so we are strongly resolved that we will you know, complete this task because we think it has benefits that will you know support economic activity and benefit the public for for many, many years. Edward. Thank you. Thank you Fed Chairman. Um for taking the questions. So you've talked about, we had solid job growth. Um Editor Lawrence from Fox Business by the way, we had solid job growth, slight falling in the increase in consumer spending. Um It seems so far it's been relatively mild from the economy to go to from a 9.1% CPI inflation to 6.5%. CPI inflation is the hard part yet to come to go from 6.5 to 2? I don't think we know honestly, you know, the uh, so we of course expected goods inflation to start coming down by the end of 2021 And it didn't, it didn't come down all through 22 and now it's coming down and it's coming down pretty fast. So I would say these are, this is not a standard business cycle where you can look at the last 10 times. There was a global pandemic and we shut the economy down and uh Congress did what it did and we do it, it's just it's unique. So I think certainty is just not appropriate here inflation. It's just harder to forecast inflation. It may come down faster. It may take longer to come down and, you know, our job is to deliver inflation back to target and we will do that. But I think we were gonna be cautious about about declaring victory and you know, sending signals that that we think that the game is one because, you know, it's, we've got a long way to go. It's just it's the early stages of disinflation and its most welcome to be able to say that that we are now in disinflation, but that's great. But we we just see that it has to spread through the economy and that it's gonna take some time? That's all. How long do you see that the federal funds rate remaining at this elevated level, you know, so, again, my forecast and that of my colleagues, as you will see from the SCP and I mean there are many different forecasts, but generally it's a forecast of slower growth, some softening in labor market conditions and inflation moving down, moving down steadily, but not quickly. And in that case, uh if if the economy performs broadly in line with those expectations, it will not be appropriate to to cut rates this year to loosen policy this year. Of course, other people have forecasts with, with inflation coming down much faster. That's a different thing. You know, if that happens if inflation comes down much faster, you know, then we'll be seeing that and and it will be incorporated into our thinking about policy. Simon Thank you. Chair Powell Simon Ivanovich with the economist, I may ask a further question about the language around ongoing increases. That of course, implies at least two further rate rises. If you look at Fed fund futures pricing, the implication is that you'll raise rates one more time and then pause, Are you concerned about that divergence or do you think if everything breaks right, is that is that a plausible outcome? I'm not I'm not particularly concerned about, about the divergence. No, because it's it is largely due to the market's expectation that inflation will move down more quickly. I think that's that's the bigger part of that. Um So again, as I just mentioned, we, you know, our forecast, different participants have different forecasts, but generally those forecasts over four continued subdued growth, some softening in the labor market, but not a recession, not a recession. And and we have inflation moving down um you know, into the somewhere in the mid threes or maybe lower than that this year. We'll update that in March. But that's what we thought in december markets are are past that they they show inflation coming down in some cases much quicker than that. So we'll just have to see um and we have a different view and a different view. It's a different forecast really. Um And uh given our outlook, I just don't see us cutting rates this year. If we get our, our outlook turns true. As I mentioned just now, if we do see inflation coming down much more quickly, that'll that'll play into our policy saying of course scott hi scott Horsley from NPR um One of the changes in the statement this this month is that the committee is no longer listing public health is among the data points you'll consider in assessing conditions. What should we make of that? Does the Federal Reserve no longer see the pandemic as as weighing on the economy. That's the general sense of it. Look, we understand, I personally understand well that that that Covid is still out there. Um but uh that it's no longer playing an important role in our economy and you know, we kept that statement in there for, for quite a while. And I think we just, we knew we would take it out at some point. There's never a perfect time. But we thought that, uh, you know, people are handling it better in the economy and the society are handling it better now. It doesn't really need to be in a, you know, in the Feds, uh, monthly, uh, you know, post meeting statement as an ongoing economic risk as opposed to, you know, a health issue nancy high chair pal nancy marshall Genser with marketplace wanted to go back to another thing that Fed Vice Chair little Brainard said recently, um, she said she doesn't see signs of a wage price spiral. And I'm wondering if you agree with that? I do, yeah, I do. I don't see that yet. But the whole point is, you know, if you, once you see it, you're, you have a serious problem that that that means that effectively in people's decision making inflation has become a really salient issue and once that happens, that's what, that's what we can't allow to happen. And you know, so that's why we worry that the longer we're at this and the longer people are talking about inflation all day long every day, um, you know, the more risk of something like that. But no, there's there's not much, it's more of a risk. It always has been more of a risk than anything else by the way, I think it's becoming less salient and people are, you know, we we pick that up in conversations and I've seen some data to that show people are, you know, gradually they're glad that inflation is coming down. People really don't like inflation and as we see it coming down, that could also add a boost to economic activity. You look at the sentiment surveys now and they're very, very low with 3.5% unemployment and you know, high wage increases nominally by historical standards. Why can that be? It has to be inflation. Right. So I think once inflation is seen to be coming down in in coming months even you will also see a boost to sentiment. I hope so. That's what you're looking at most closely. Consumer expectations, that's that's at the very hardest consumers and businesses that you know, are essentially we believe that the expectations of future inflation are very, very important. Part of the process of creating inflation. That's that's a that's a sort of a bedrock belief uh in one way or another. It it has to be, we think it's important. Um And in this case, I would say the risk eight months ago or so longer term inflation expectations had moved up, we moved quite vigorously last year expectations are seem to be well anchored including at the shorter end now, not just the longer end, so It's, you know, and that's I think that's very reassuring, I think, you know, the markets have decided and the public has decided that inflation is going to come back down to 2%. And it's just a matter of us following through that's immeasurably helpful to the process of getting inflation down. The fact that people now do generally believe that it will come down, that will be part of the process of getting it down and it's a very positive thing. Great, thank you. Chair pal Greg rob from Market watch in the minutes of the december meeting, there was a a couple of sentences that struck people as important when the committee said, participants talked about this unwarranted easing of financial conditions was a risk and it would make your life harder to bring inflation down. Our I haven't seen her you talk much about that today or in the statement, so I was wondering, has that concern eased among members or is that still something you're concerned about? Thank you. I would put it this way, it's something that we monitor carefully. Financial conditions didn't really change much from the december meeting to now. They mostly went sideways or up and down but came out in roughly the same place. Um It's important that the markets do reflect the tightening that we're putting in place as we've, as we've discussed a couple of times here, there's a different difference in perspective by some market measures on how fast inflation will come down. We're just gonna have to see, I mean, I'm not going to try to persuade people to have a different forecast, but our forecast is that it will take some time and some patients and that will need to keep rates higher for longer. But we'll see. Let's go to Britain for the last question. High Chair Powell, Brendan Peterson with Punch Bowl News. I wanted to ask if the Fed takes into account at all the debt ceiling when it comes to quantitative tightening, given the fact that rapid or faster quantitative tightening could bring us closer, faster to that drop dead debt ceiling deadline. Could it play an effect as we get closer to that drop dead deadline this summer? Look, i it's very hard to think about all the different possible ramifications. And I think the answer is basically, I don't I don't think there's likely to be any important interaction between the two because I believe Congress will wind up acting and as it as it will and must in the end to raise the debt ceiling in a way that doesn't risk, you know, the progress we're making against inflation and the economy and the financial sector. I believe that that will happen. I believe it will happen. You know we we of course will monitor money market conditions carefully. Uh, as you know, as the process moves on, for example, the Treasury general account will shrink down and then it will grow back up and we understand there'll be lots of flows between there and the overnight repo facility and, and reserves. We understand all that. We're watching it carefully. We'll just be monitoring it. Thank you very much. Yes, morning. 781b155fdc