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US Dollar Continues to Climb as Fed Officials Sound Off on Outlook

US Dollar Continues to Climb as Fed Officials Sound Off on Outlook

2016-11-15 00:27:00
Varun Jaitly,

Talking Points:

  • The outcome of the US presidential election return put Fed rate hike path in focus
  • Fed branch Presidents Lacker, Williams and Kaplan spoke on trade, fiscal stimulus
  • A busy docket of Fed comments is scheduled for the remainder of the trading week

Fed rate hike expectations have firmed since the Republican nominee Donald Trump unexpectedly prevailed in last week’s contentious US presidential election. The priced-in probability of a hike at the central bank’s December meeting is now 94 percent. The 2017 tightening path implied in Fed Funds futures has steepened to the most aggressive in five months.

A roundup of Fed speakers will offer their take shifting expectations this week. Today, Fed branch Presidents Williams (San Francisco), Lacker (Richmond) and Kaplan (Dallas) discussed a number of the topics directly impacting on-coming Fed policy. They touched on trade policy, fiscal stimulus and the US relationship with China.

Robert Kaplan (Dallas Fed)

  • Most important that Fed retains political independence
  • Would have backed a rate hike in September or November
  • Too soon to judge how US fiscal policy will unfold
  • Repeats 2% 2017 growth forecast but says watching events
  • May see Fed remove some accommodation in near future
  • Immigrant flows from Mexico has slowed to almost zero
  • Should tackle structural issues inhibiting US growth
  • US is under-invested in infrastructure
  • Fed stays out of political consideration
  • We'd like to see broader economic policies
  • US growth on margin is better than Europe
  • Trade with Mexico has made US more competitive

John Williams (San Francisco Fed)

  • China's long-run prospects may be changing, labor accounting for smaller portion of growth
  • US is the best game in town for economic performance, better than most advanced economies
  • China's domestic pivot impacts commodity markets, authorities have multiple policy levers
  • Yuan depreciation against the US Dollar follows shift in foreign exchange basket
  • Hope that current path of open, free trade continues
  • China has long-run challenge of shrinking labor force
  • Fed is focused on is twin goals
  • Immigration is a huge net positive for America

Jeffrey Lacker (Richmond Fed)

  • Case for raising rates is relatively strong
  • Too soon to judge meaning of inflation expectation rise
  • Fed faces challenges when fiscal stimulus scale unclear
  • More fiscal stimulus will bolster case for raising rates
  • Will wait to see how fiscal policies play out
  • Markets may see higher deficits and inflation.
  • Market views on deficits driving up yields
  • Fiscal stimulus likely translates into faster hiking
  • Policy changes could help productivity growth

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