Following yesterday's release of advance Q1 GDP and deflator data,for the first time since the full unwind of the Great Financial Crisis in late 2008, early 2009, the Taylor rule is not only positive (it hit 0.1% in Q4 2010, in line with the federal fund's rate) but has now jumped substantially above the prevailing interest rate, hitting +0.4% in Q1 2011. Needless to say this will not remove any of the latent animosity between John Taylor, whose rule, or at least a special case thereof, is used by the Chairman in determining monetary policy, and the Chairman: as the possibility of a hike is negligible for at least one more year, with a far greater possibility for another QE episode, we expect to see this number continue to diverge substantially from the Taylor implied number for a long time, which in turn will mean that the Fed will be forced to scramble, just as it did in the 05-07 period to catch up with runaway inflation. Only this time it will have $3 trillion in asset to unwind as well. We hope Volcker will not mind being thawed from carbonite a second time when runaway inflation surges in about a year or so, and Volcker's expertise is needed more than ever.
Stone McCarthy has more:
For the second consecutive quarter, the original-specification, quarterly version of the Taylor rule, based on real GDP figures and the GDP price deflator, produced a positive result.
The previous day, the BEA released its advance estimate for real GDP figures in Q1 2011. Based on those numbers, the Taylor rule prediction for the federal funds rate target in Q1 2011 is +0.4%. In the previous quarter of Q4 2010, the Taylor rule prediction was +0.1%.
We still believe it will be some time before the federal funds rate target is lifted by the Federal Reserve but at least it is moving in the right direction.