Interest Rate Roundup

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Fed stands pat, more bullish on economy, neutral-to-dovish on inflation

That's my quick and dirty analysis of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting, whose results we just learned via this statement. Policymakers kept the federal funds rate at 5.25%. They pointed out the economy was a bit stronger, saying "Recent indicators have suggested somewhat firmer economic growth." Meanwhile, the inflation commentary seemed neutral-to-dovish. The Fed said "Readings on core inflation have improved modestly." At the same time, they reiterated a comment that "the high level of resource utilization has the potential to sustain inflation pressures." That's jargon referring to the low unemployment rate.

Markets usually swing wildly in the immediate aftermath of any Fed meeting. Whether they follow through or not is another thing entirely. That said, Treasuries had already reversed earlier losses, and they're gaining even more ground in the wake of the report. Ten-year yields were recently down 4 basis points, while long bond futures were recently up 13/32.


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