二是因现阶段无法对未来货币政策路径给出清晰的指引，美联储官员认为保持开放和灵活性是需要的（“need to retain optionality after this meeting”）；
5月纪要显示，一些（“some”）与会者认为如果经济和通胀如预期回落，则之后不需要进一步加息；然而，另一些（“several”）与会者认为通胀回落到2%的概率仍低，因此需要进一步收紧货币政策（“some participants commented that, based on their expectations that progress in returning inflation to 2% could continue to be unacceptably slow, additional policy firming would likely be warranted at future meetings；several participants noted that if the economy evolved along the lines of their current outlooks, then further policy firming after this meeting may not be necessary”）。
此外，美联储理事Chirstopher Waller周三在加利福尼亚圣巴巴拉大学中提到，除非看到通胀显著回落到2%目标水平的数据，否则他不赞成完全停止加息，但6月会议中是继续加息或者暂停加息需要基于未来3周的经济数据（“I do not support stopping rate hikes unless we get clear evidence that inflation is moving down towards our 2% objective, but whether we should hike or skip at the June meeting will depend on how the data come in over the next three weeks.”）。
5月19日，美联储主席鲍威尔在Thomas Laubach研究会议中指出，货币紧缩有滞后效应，其对经济和通胀的影响仍有较高不确定性，叠加近期银行业危机导致的信贷环境收紧，美联储可能不必继续激进加息来达到目标。“we have come a long way in policy tightening, and the stance of policy is restrictive, and we face uncertainty about the lagged effects of our tightening so far and about the extents of credit tightening from recent banking stress, our policy rate may not need to rise as much as it would have otherwise to achieve our goals”。
此外，纪要显示，因无法对未来货币政策路径有清晰的判断，美联储官员认为保持开放和灵活性是需要的（“many participants focused on the need to retain optionality”）。
美联储与会者对经济的担忧程度相对更低，与会者认为2023年经济增速可能会低于潜在增长，银行业危机导致的信贷紧缩可能对经济活动产生进一步下行压力，但仍旧无法定量判断，一些（some）与会者提到，虽然信贷供给有所下滑，但回落幅度有限（“access to credit had not yet appeared to have declined significantly since the recent onset of stress in the banking sector”）。
5月纪要显示，FOMC与会者认为，现阶段通胀仍然太高（“unacceptably high”）。核心通胀回落节奏不及预期，其中，核心商品价格回落速度变慢，除住房外的核心服务分项价格回落依然较慢，就业市场依然紧张，导致薪资增速下行缓慢、粘性较强（“participants agreed that inflation was unacceptably high, they commented that data through March indicated that declines in inflation, particularly for measures of core inflation, had been slower than they had expected”）。
此外，工作人员将2024年核心通胀的预期修改为小幅高于2%（“moderately above 2%”），对比3月纪要的预期则为接近2%（“near 2%”）。
向前看，我们认为，美国就业市场韧性较强，一些非短期的结构性因素如退休人数增加、移民人数减少、部分制造业回流可能导致薪资整体中枢高于疫情前水平，且存在调整粘性，这一点，在美国雇佣成本指数（Employment Cost Index，ECI）以及4月时薪增速中也能得到验证。
Source: Guo Lei Macro Café
Author: Guo Lei of GF Securities
GF Securities believes that under the benchmark situation, the Federal Reserve may suspend interest rate hikes in the future, maintain high interest rates during the year, and at the same time moderately increase its inflation tolerance, so the probability of interest rate cuts is low.
The Federal Reserve holds eight interest rate meetings every year. The minutes (Minutes) are a detailed explanation of the policy formation process and the logic behind the policy. They are generally published three weeks after the meeting. The minutes of the May interest rate meeting announced on May 24, 2023 have three key pieces of information.
One isFederal Reserve officials gave no clear signal to suspend interest rate hikes during the June 13-14 meetingMoreover, there are major differences within the Federal Reserve over the future monetary policy path, and it is still impossible to decide whether to announce the cessation of interest rate hikes;
Second, since it is impossible to give clear guidance on the future path of monetary policy at this stage,Federal Reserve Officials Think Remaining Open and Flexible Is Needed(“Need to Retain Optionality After This Meeting”);
Third, judging from the Federal Reserve's understanding of the economy and inflation, and its existing discussion framework,Interest rate cuts during the year are still a low-probability event.
On May 24, 2023 EST, the Federal Reserve announced the minutes of the May 2-3 interest rate meeting.
The minutes show, first, that Fed officials did not give a clear signal that interest rate hikes will be suspended during the June 13-14 meeting, and there are major differences within the Federal Reserve over the future monetary policy path, and it is still impossible to decide whether to announce the cessation of interest rate hikes. After the May interest rate meeting, the federal funds rate target range was 5%-5.25%.
According to the May minutes, some (“some”) participants believed that if the economy and inflation fall back as expected, there would be no need to raise interest rates further thereafter; however, other (“sentiment”) participants believed that the probability of inflation falling back to 2% was still low, so further tightening of monetary policy (“some monetary policy is necessary, based on their momentum that progress in progress in the economy Slowly to 2% could continue to be unacceptableslow, additional policy firing would be warranted at future meetings; that if the economy evolves along “The lines of their current outlooks, then firing policy firing after this meeting may not be considered”).
Furthermore, Federal Reserve Governor Chirstopher Waller mentioned at the University of Santa Barbara in California on Wednesday that he is not in favor of completely stopping interest rate hikes unless he sees data where inflation falls significantly back to the target level of 2%, but in the June meeting, interest rate increases will continue or the suspension of interest rate increases will need to be based on economic data for the next 3 weeks (“I do not support inflation rate hikes unless we get clear evidence that explanation Is moving down is our 2% objective, but whether we should hike or skip at the June meeting will depend on how the data come in over the next three weeks.”).
Although the final decision is still a typical data-dependent framework (data-dependent), the “compromise” idea implied in Powell's speech last week was still an important benchmark until new information appeared.
On May 19, Federal Reserve Chairman Powell pointed out at the Thomas Laubach research conference that monetary tightening has a lagging effect, and its impact on the economy and inflation is still highly uncertain. Combined with the tightening of the credit environment caused by the recent banking crisis, the Federal Reserve may not have to achieve its goals by continuing aggressive interest rate hikes.
Judging from the logic of this speech, we tend to think,Under the benchmark situation, there is still a high probability that May will be the last rate hike in this cycle.
Although participants at the May meeting were quite divided on the future path of monetary policy, in conjunction with Federal Reserve Chairman Powell's speech last week, we tend to think that May is probably the last rate hike in the current interest rate hike cycle.
On May 19, Federal Reserve Chairman Powell pointed out at the Thomas Laubach research conference that monetary tightening has a lagging effect, and its impact on the economy and inflation is still highly uncertain. Coupled with the tightening of the credit environment caused by the recent banking crisis, the Federal Reserve may not need to continue aggressively raising interest rates to achieve its goals. “We have come a long way in policy tightness, and the stance of policy is restrictive, and we face feeling about the lagged effects of our tightness so far and about the extents of “Credit Tightness from Recent Banking Stress, Our Policy Rate May Not Need to Rise as Much as It Would Have Had to Help Our Goals”.
As can be seen, the “compromise” idea implied in Powell's speech is still an important benchmark. As FOMC leader, Powell remains the decisive figure that ultimately determines the direction of monetary policy.
Furthermore, the minutes show that since it is impossible to make a clear judgment on the future path of monetary policy, Fed officials believe that maintaining openness and flexibility is necessary (“many reasons focused on the need to retain optionality”).
The Federal Reserve's interest rate meeting usually involves staff (staff) providing a benchmark outlook material for the Federal Reserve participants (participants) to refer to.
As far as the economy is concerned, in consideration of bank credit tightening, the staff used the possibility of a shallow recession in the economy in the second half of the year as a benchmark situation, and at the same time revised the actual GDP growth rates of 2024 and 2025.
Federal Reserve participants are less clear and cautious in their judgments. They believe that the economic growth rate in 2023 may be lower than potential growth, and that the credit crunch caused by the banking crisis may put further downward pressure on economic activity, but it is still impossible to quantify it. Some participants felt that the credit decline was limited.
The May minutes show that Federal Reserve staff maintained their judgment of a shallow economic recession in the second half of the year, but revised their judgment on GDP growth in 2025.
Staff expect that the actual GDP growth rate in 2024 and 2025 is expected to be lower than the Federal Reserve's forecast of the potential economic growth rate. In the March report, the staff believes that the 2024 economy will fall below the potential growth rate, but the 2025 economy will be higher than the potential growth rate.
Federal Reserve participants were less concerned about the economy. Participants believed that the economic growth rate in 2023 may be lower than potential growth. The credit crunch caused by the banking crisis may put further downward pressure on economic activity, but it is still impossible to quantify it. Some (some) participants mentioned that although credit supply has declined, the decline is limited (“access to credit had not yet to be expected to have to make a decision since “The Recent Onset of Stress in the Banking Sector”).
Federal Reserve staff raised the 2023 PCE and core PCE to 3.1% and 3.8% year on year, higher than the 2.8% and 3.5% forecast in the March minutes; the median predictions of participants for the 2023 PCE and core PCE were 3.3% and 3.6%, respectively.
Federal Reserve participants believe that inflation is still too high (“unacceptably high”) at this stage. The pace of decline in core inflation fell short of expectations. Among them, the price of core commodities fell more slowly, the prices of core service segments other than housing were still falling slowly, and the job market was still tense, leading to a slow decline in wage growth and strong stickiness.
If the above characteristics of inflation and the evolution path of inflation continue, the understanding in our previous report is reasonable: the Fed's optimal strategy is to end the interest rate hike cycle but maintain high policy interest rates for a longer period of time; unless a typical recession occurs, interest rates will not be cut during the year.
The May minutes show that FOMC participants believe that inflation is still too high at this stage (“unacceptably high”). The pace of decline in core inflation fell short of expectations. Among them, prices of core commodities fell more slowly, prices of core service segments other than housing fell slowly, and the job market remained tight, leading to a slow decline in wage growth and strong stickiness (“The wage growth rate was unacceptably high, they paid that data through March announcement that Declines in Poverty, Measures for Core Decline, Had Been Strain Than They Had Damaged”).
Furthermore, the staff revised their forecast for core inflation for 2024 to be slightly above 2% (“moderated above 2%”), compared to the March record forecast to be close to 2% (“near 2%”).
Looking ahead, we believe that the US job market is resilient. Some non-short-term structural factors, such as an increase in the number of retirees, a decrease in the number of immigrants, and the return of some manufacturing industries, may cause the overall wage center to be higher than pre-pandemic levels, and there is adjustment stickiness. This can also be verified in the US Employment Cost Index (ECI) and the hourly wage growth rate in April.
ECI rose 4.8% year on year in the first quarter (previous value up 5.1%), 1.2% month-on-month (previous value up 1%), and the annualized growth rate rebounded to 4.9% from 4.5% in the fourth quarter of 2022; hourly wage increased 0.5% month-on-month in April, higher than 0.3% of the previous value. Market expectations were 0.3%, indicating that inflationary pressure on wages continues.
Furthermore, in the March inflation data, segments with strong correlation with wages, such as hospital services (up 0.5% month-on-month), auto repair (up 0.5% month-on-month), and auto insurance (up 1.4% month-on-month), also reflect that wage stickiness continues to put pressure on overall service industry prices.
However, we also need to see that the ISM service industry index fell back to 50.8 in May, the previous value was 51.3, falling for the third month in a row, indicating that although employment in the service sector is still in the expansion range, the number of people employed continues to decline. Furthermore, the minutes show that some participants have noticed that local enterprises now feel that the difficulty of hiring and turnover rates are declining, and that there are beginning to be signs of layoffs.
Therefore, we tend to think that the high absolute level of inflation combined with the stickiness of salary prices all corresponds to the possibility that the Federal Reserve will maintain policy interest rates for a longer period of time. In a context where there is no risk of recession in the traditional sense, the probability that interest rates will be cut during the year is low.
Simply put, the Fed's decision sought a balance between inflation, economic growth, and macroprudence.Under the benchmark situation, we tend to think that the Federal Reserve may suspend interest rate hikes in the future and maintain high interest rates throughout the year; at the same time, it moderately increases its tolerance for inflation.
First, the April inflation data continued to decline in an orderly manner, providing a reasonable environment for the Federal Reserve to suspend interest rate hikes.
Second, although economic resilience is evident, the inventory cycle continues to sink, leading indicators and lagging indicators have continued to cool, and a phased shallow recession is not ruled out;
Although the three banking bankruptcies did not lead to the spread of financial risk, the First Republic Bank case showed that financial vulnerability was still high; the first-quarter bank credit opinion survey showed that the credit environment shrank further in the context of high interest rates and savings transfers from small to medium banks.
The above backgrounds all point to the Federal Reserve's need for a “compromise” outcome, but it remains to be seen whether this will materialize.
Because the May interest rate minutes did not point further to a “conclusion”Instead, the data showed stronger decision-making characteristics. The probability that the Fed suspended interest rate hikes in June and continued to raise interest rates by 25 bp was 67% and 33%, respectively. The probability of continuing to raise interest rates was slightly higher than 28% the previous day; however, the probability of raising interest rates by 25 bp in July and not raising interest rates was 46.2% and 40.9%, respectively, with previous values of 36.7% and 57.6% respectively; futures implied terminal policy interest rates rose to 5.27% (previous value was 5.20%).
Judging from asset performance, the yield on ten-year US Treasury bonds rose 5 bp to 3.74%, and the US dollar index rose to 103.88; the uncertainty of interest rate hikes combined with unresolved debt ceiling issues boosted risk premiums, and the three major stock indexes all fell to varying degrees.
After the minutes were released, the probability that the Fed would suspend interest rate hikes and continue to raise interest rates by 25bp in June was 67% and 33%, respectively, compared to 72% and 28% the day before.
US bond yields rose 5 bp to 3.74%; the US dollar index rose to 103.88; all three major stock indexes fell. The SP500 index fell 0.73%, the NASDAQ index fell 0.61%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Index fell 0.77%.
Core hypothetical risks: the US economy fell into a deep recession due to the Federal Reserve's rapid tightening of liquidity, causing the Fed to cut interest rates beyond expectations or end the contraction early; the escalation of the US debt ceiling issue, which caused US bond yields to plummet; the escalation of the Russian-Ukrainian situation triggered another rise in global inflation; and the acceleration of savings transfers from European and American banks caused credit contraction to exceed expectations.