Tuesday, May 24, 2005

QuickTake: FOMC Sees Uncertainty

From the Federal Open Market Committee minutes of May 3, 2005 (bolding by EconOpinion):

In their discussion of current conditions and the economic outlook, meeting participants observed that incoming data over the intermeeting period hinted at possible upside risks for inflation and downside risks for economic growth. Earlier increases in energy prices seemed to be an important factor contributing to an uptick in core inflation and a slower pace of economic activity. With energy prices leveling out more recently, however, and the behavior of compensation suggesting a lack of pressure in labor markets, underlying inflation appeared to remain contained. The weakness in spending was widespread and could not be completely dismissed, but it had appeared only very recently and could be a product of the inherent noisiness of high-frequency economic data. On balance, economic fundamentals including low interest rates, robust underlying productivity growth, and strengthened business balance sheets were expected to support economic growth at a pace sufficient to gradually eliminate remaining slack in resource utilization. Although the economic outlook generally seemed favorable, there was also broad recognition of greater uncertainty attending the outlook for both inflation and output growth.

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