Market Update: November 2017

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Fed Watching for Inflation

Inflation and inflation expectations are central to monetary policy decisions implemented by the Federal Reserve. Despite stronger economic growth, inflation has remained low, and the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation, Core Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) has declined in 2017. Fed Chair Yellen has described the lower inflation in recent months as a “mystery” and expects the “soft readings will not persist.” Central bankers like to see inflation near 2% because it signals a growing economy.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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Jerome Powell as Next Fed Chairman

Federal Reserve governor Jerome Powell has been nominated as the next Fed Chairman. Powell would “largely represent continuity,” said Jonathan Wright, a former Fed economist now at Johns Hopkins University. In his five years on the central bank’s board of governors, Mr. Powell has never dissented on a monetary or regulatory policy decision. He has supported the Fed’s current course of slowly reversing its post-crisis stimulus efforts. The Republican has criticized GOP-sponsored bills to increase congressional scrutiny of the Fed, but he has advocated loosening some of the financial rules adopted by the Fed since the crisis. If confirmed by the Senate, Powell would be the first Fed leader in three decades without a Ph.D. in economics.

Source: Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg

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