Fed Holds Steady As Yields Dive on Virus Fears

During today’s Fed statement and subsequent comments by Fed Chair Powell there was an expressed concern about the “uncertainties” involving the spread of the Coronavirus. Treasury yields dropped and the yield curve is nearly inverted. The 10 year T is at 1.58%, the lowest in months and just 22 bps above its all time low. With the 3 month at 1.55%, another inversion may be at hand. The Fed also indicated concern about inflation and is very concerned that the U.S. does not become another Japan (ultra low rates and growth for decades with no room to cut rates and stimulate). The statement stressed that the 2.0% “symmetrical inflation target” was not a goal to be “near” but needed to be “reached”. Powell noted that the recent PCE of 1.5% was way too low and many Fed board members have indicated a willingness to let inflation go above 2.0% without raising rates quickly, possibly letting inflation “run for a while” hopefully in conjunction with strong growth. Stay tuned.  By David R. Pascale, Jr. , Senior Vice President at George Smith Partners

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