(solution) Assume your group represents the Federal Open Market Committee

(solution) Assume your group represents the Federal Open Market Committee

Assume your group represents the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) and is making a case to the Senate Banking Committee regarding the future direction of monetary policy.

Review the statistics attached. Do not merely cite numbers and values, but identify trends, relationships between the variables, and the significance of each factor in enabling or hindering the Fed from meeting its twin policy goals of promoting full employment and minimizing inflation. 

Federal Open Market Committee Research GDP and the rate of GDP growth
o Q3-2015: 2.0% from previous (Q2-2015:3.9) Advanced an annualized 2% in 3 month in 2015, which was above market
expectations of a 1.9 % growth. Reflects positive contributions from personal
consumption, non-residential fixed investment, state and local gov spending,
residential fixed investment, and exports that were partly offset by neg
contribution from private inventory investment. History: average 3.25% from 1947 to 2105 (all time high of 16.90 in 1950 and a
low -10 in 1958). Retrieved from http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/gdpgrowth
o 2000 History-highest GDP 2000-Q2: 7.8, lowest GDP 2008-Q4: -8.4
o Current GDP: $17.42 trillion Current US population total: 318.9 million Retrieved from http://data.worldbank.org/country/united-states
o Projected rate of GDP growth 2015: 2.15 2016: 2.4 2017: 2.2 2018: 2.0
o A rise in GDP will increase employment rate. GDP is a key indicator of economic activity.
Measures of inflation and consumer prices
o Current US inflation rate: (up and including Nov 2015) 0.5%
o Past inflation rates (Graph and inflation rate retrieved from
http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/inflation/current-inflation-rates/) o Future Inflation rate graph (retrieved from
http://www.statista.com/statistics/244983/projected-inflation-rate-in-the-unitedstates/) Consumer prices Measured by the CPI (consumer price index) Produces monthly data on changes in the prices paid by urban consumers for a
representative basket of goods and services (retrieved from
http://www.bls.gov/cpi/) http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cpi.pdf *** use for more information
about CPI and what affects CPI
Level of money supply growth
o US experienced an increase of Money Supply M2 from 12330 USD billion 12/14 to
12288.10 USD billion in 11/14. (Retrieved from
o http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/money-supply-m2) o Reported by the Federal Reserve
Discount rate/ Federal funds rate
o Current discount rate (as of 10/2015): 0.75% per Annum
o Projected Rate increases or decreases Affected by Treasury Bond Market Bond traders are paid to anticipate economic events (retrieved from
http://www.money-rates.com/fed.htm) Treasury is the best reflection of interest rate trends due to prices not
being affected by ?issuer-specific events the way corporate bonds might
be? (retrieved from above link). Changes daily and the focus should be on month to month changes Affected by Market for Bank Rates Understanding certificate of deposit, money market account and saving
rates will tell you quickly if banks will start to move rates higher. (info
from above link).
o Current Federal Funds rate (as of 1/7/2016): 0.36% Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is responsible for the
discount rate and reserve requirements. Federal Open Market Committee is
responsible for open market operations. Federal Reserve can influence the
demand, supply, and balances of depository institutions held at Federal Reserve
Banks. This is how federal funds rate are altered, which is the interest rate at
which the depository institutions lend balances to other depository institutions. Change in these fund rates can trigger a chain of reactions that included: Affecting other short-term interest rates Foreign exchange rates Long-term interest rates The amount of money and credit Economic variables including o Employment
o Output
o Prices of goods and services
Measures of employment and the unemployment rate
o Employment Rate Current: rise (as of dec 2015) of nonfarm payroll totaling to 292,000 employed Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm Projected (retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ecopro.pdf) 2014-2024 growth due to healthcare occupation and increase in a
proportion of the population becoming in the older age groups
o This will cause a decrease in labor force participation rate and
labor force to slow Slowdown will cause a 2.2% annual rise over the decade
in GDP Economic Growth projected to generate 9.8 million jobs
(6.5% increase between 2014-2024)
o Unemployment rate Current: 5.0% (retrieved from http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000) Down consistently for 3 months by 0.6% (retrieved from
http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm) Projected: graph retrieved from
http://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/files/fomcprojtabl20150917.pdf Investment spending by the private sector
o Variables showing high level of private sector spending increase the level of employment
and reduces inflation r/t high investing causing new jobs
o economy driven by demand every dollar US government adds to demand (or subtracts it) will be multiplied
by changes in private spending increased government spending can create a phenomenon known as ?crowding
out? causing the private sector to contract spending. Crowding out definition
(http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/definition/crowding-out-effect)
o A situation when increased interest rates lead to a reduction in
private investment spending such that it dampens the initial
increase of total investment spending Cuts in spending by the government in turn can make economic resources
available for the private sector to use more productively
o 1.4 % growth since 2004, and 0.5% average growth since 2010, decline in 2015 by 0.4%
(retrieved from http://www.valuewalk.com/2015/03/u-s-productivity-in-the-postwar-era-and-investment-spending/)
U.S. trade balance
o Trade balance is a deficit, which is a major concern since this hinders productivity r/t the
US continues debts
o Affects employment and inflation and cause it to be high r/t the need to increase funds
to pay debts.
o Current (as of 10/15): $43.9 billion (retrieved from http://blog.bea.gov/category/tradedeficit/ )
o Future (retrieved from http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/balance-oftrade/forecast) Value of the dollar on foreign currency markets
o Value of the dollar greatly affects foreign currency markets
o Determines exchange rates, influences market and inflation rates Increases causes lesser ability for goods to be purchased
o As supply of USD increases, the price of the USD falls causing depreciation
o Current values USD-EUR(euro): 1 USD = 0.91 euro USD-CAD (Canadian): 1 USD = 1.46 CAD
o Projected: use http://longforecast.com/fx/euro-exchange-rate-forecast-for-2018-2019and-2020.html
Housing starts
o Shows a fair increase in the near future as employment continues to rise Due to the rise people will feel as they are able to support themselves in a better
way than the past o
o Current: (as of 11/15) increased 10.5%-annual rate of 1173 thousand (retrieved from
http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/housing-starts)
Projected (found from above link) Retail sales
o Affects GDP Important fed is careful in their sales to keep the future positive
o Current: 2.2% growth (12/15) retrieved from http://www.multpl.com/us-retail-salesgrowth
o Future: retrieved from http://digiday.com/brands/retail-charts/
o Consumer Confidence
o Measures the degree of optimism of the customer towards specific companies
o Current: 93.3 (as of 12/15) retrieved from http://www.tradingeconomics.com/unitedstates/consumer-confidence/forecast
o Future: (retrieved from above link) S&P 500 Stock Index
o AKA the standard poor index-variables created by the FED can cause inflation which is
shown to greatly affect employment rates
o Current: (as of 1/16) -8.00%, value 1,880.33
o Projected: (monthly projections for 16-17) retrieved from
http://longforecast.com/index-sp500/s-p-500-forecast-for-2015-2016-and-2017.html