William De Vijlder

Group Chief Economist BNP Paribas

Tag : Monetary policy

The dots drive the dollar

The dots drive the dollar

The behaviour of Wall Street hasn’t exactly been exciting in recent weeks. The big move came on Wednesday 20th. It was all about the dots, the indications given by the FOMC members about the expected path for the federal funds rate.

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The right timing of structural reforms

The importance of structural policy is unquestionable. This was clearly explained by Mario Draghi at the ECB Conference in Sintra. However, their impact not only depends on the timing but also on the types of measures, the credibility and the interaction with other policy measures.

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Monetary tightening: Doomed if you do, doomed if you don’t ?

Monetary policy normalisation is a balancing act: tighten too early could trigger a recession, hike too late could mean an inflation overshoot and a need to raise rates more aggressively. The reaction of financial markets adds to the complexity of the balancing act. Different factors have made the job of central banks more difficult in recent years.

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Endogenous risks loom on the economic horizon

Replace ‘blue sky’ with ‘robust growth’ and ‘umbrellas’ with ‘economic policy instruments’ and you have a description of the global economic environment: robust growth but, if a downturn would come, very little manoeuvring room for fiscal and monetary policies to stimulate growth. All the more reason to keep a watchful eye on the horizon, and to prepare for clouds to appear.

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The art of negotiating (monetary) curves

“After a long straight, the driver downshifts and brakes slightly before going into a curve. When the curve proves to be tighter than expected, and with the car still cruising at high speeds, the driver hits the brakes harder. The wheels lock and the car skids out of control.” This metaphor seems to fit the challenges currently facing the US Federal Reserve

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Changing phases

Fiscal stimulus to an American economy at full employment is likely to trigger a tightening of financial and monetary conditions which in turn could affect growth prospects and investors’ appetite for risk. The route therefore looks well defined. It reflects a monetary policy which will gradually become more restrictive and will end up holding down growth.

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Meetings at the summit

In the Eurozone, China and the UK, purchasing manager indexes for the manufacturing sector declined in February. In the United States, in contrast, the manufacturing ISM rose but still held below 50, the level separating industrial expansion from contraction.

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