Stability concerns focus at Fed ahead of Yellen speech

Reuters/Howard Schneider/08-18-17

The stock market’s steady rise, still low long-term bond yields and a sagging dollar are girding the Fed’s intent to raise interest rates again this year despite concerns about weak inflation, according to comments this week from Fed officials and analysts anticipating remarks next week by Chair Janet Yellen.

Minutes of the July Federal Open Market Committee meeting released this week flagged a division among policymakers focused on weak inflation as a reason to stall further rate increases and those who feel still loose financial conditions pose a risk the Fed needs to counter.

…”I would not be surprised to see Chair Yellen outline a similar argument at Jackson Hole — namely, that financial conditions are a piece of the puzzle that currently support maintaining a gradual pace of tightening,” analysts from NatWest Markets Strategy wrote in a morning note.

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