Today's Economic Data Docket - FOMC
All that matters today is the Chairsatan's second post-meeting press conference and updated forecasts from the FOMC. And yes, there is no POMO today due to the early FOMC decision.
09:45: Fannie Mae will auction $2.0 billion 3-month and $2.0 billion 6-month benchmark bills.
10:00: FHFA House Price Index (April): Still soft? This index, which tracks the purchase price of homes with agency-conforming mortgages, continues to trend lower. As of March it was down 5.9% from a year earlier. Forecasters expect a 0.3% (mom) decline for April.
Median forecast (of 18): -0.3%; last -0.3%.
10:00: Mass layoffs in May could be a bit higher during the current slowdown in the recovery, but the levels should remain well below those experienced in the recession. Businesses do not want to lose skilled workers when payrolls are already quite lean. Public sector layoffs are likely to remain active as budgetary constraints are still in the fore.
12:30: FOMC rate decision and statement. The FOMC will release its standard statement at 12:30 today. Fed Chairman Bernanke’s press conference and the publication of FOMC forecasts will follow at 14:15.
14:15: Fed Chairman Bernanke press conference. Chairman Bernanke’s second post-meeting press conference could prove more challenging than the first, given unfriendly data and the end of QE2. We do not expect major shifts in the policy message, but several tweaks seem likely in light of recent news. First, both the statement and the FOMC’s forecasts are likely to be more downbeat on growth. We expect the committee to revise down its 2011 GDP growth forecast to about 2.7% from 3.2% previously. Chairman Bernanke will likely mention temporary factors weighing on growth but also acknowledge a broader loss of momentum. Second, the committee may adjust forecasts and language on inflation slightly due to higher core readings. In particular, the statement that “measures of underlying inflation are still subdued” now looks somewhat dated. However, as in his June 7 speech, we expect the chairman to emphasize that the committee sees most of the recent pickup in inflation as transitory. We see no reason for the FOMC to change its tone on policy. We think the Fed is in a wide “zone of inaction”, with neither easing nor tightening likely for the time being.
From Goldman, Stone McCarthy and ZH
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