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2016
07/28
Thu

FOMCも「離脱越え」......再び年内利上げを視野に

day by day

 (04:30)端的に言えば、「次回の9月のFOMC以降、いつ利上げ再開があってもおかしくないですよ」とFOMCは宣言した、ということでしょう。アメリカの金融政策は再び「年内利上げ」を目指して歩み始めた、と言える。

 声明の最後にはEsther L. Georgeが「今回のFOMCで利上げ(0.25%)すべきだ」と異論まで挟んでいる。その他のFOMC委員は「今すぐというのはちょっと」と思いながら、「このまま景気が順調に推移するなら、9月からは十分に可能性がある」と考えた。その差はわずかです。

 言ってみればFOMCも「離脱越え」をしたということ。つまりイギリスがEU離脱などと言う想定外の事(国民投票)をしてくれたので、「世界経済は今後どうなるか分からないし、よって利上げなどとてもとても」と一時考えたが、「杞憂だった」と判断し、「これからは再び主にアメリカ経済を見て判断しよう」と考えた、ということでしょう。政策当局者としての心理的「離脱越え」。

 FOMCのアメリカ経済に対する今回の見立ては明るい。のっけから「 the labor market strengthened and that economic activity has been expanding at a moderate rate」だし、次の文章には「Job gains were strong in June following weak growth in May. On balance, payrolls and other labor market indicators point to some increase in labor utilization in recent months」と「strong」という単語が登場する。

 前回のFOMC声明には「the pace of improvement in the labor market has slowed」とslowedという単語が使われていたことを考えると180度の転換と言っても良い。今回のFOMCは「Near-term risks to the economic outlook have diminished」とも言い切る。

 だとしたら、次回(9月の20、21日 アスタリスク=記者会見付き)に「利上げ」となる可能性は従来は「ゼロ」とされていたのが、今からは「9月の利上げの可能性は場合によっては5割以上、年内はほぼ確実」と言うことになるかも知れない。

 もっとも、通常の年に比べて、9月の利上げには若干の困難がつきまとう。なぜなら米大統領選挙の本戦の直前だからだ。かねて共和党のトランプ候補は「利上げに反対」「彼女=イエレンは仕事ぶりは良いが、民主党の大統領が選んだ議長だから、私が大統領になったら代える」と言っている。

 仮に9月の利上げ後に、米大統領選挙を控えた一ヶ月ちょっとの間にアメリカの景況が著しく悪化するようなことがあれば、FRBは批判に晒される。それが過ぎれば、つまり12月になれば、その手の批判を気にせずに出来る、という面はある。

 「年内利上げが再び大きく視界に入ってきた」FOMC声明後にアメリカのマーケットはどう動いたか。まだ終わっていないが(終わるまでに30分ほどある)、株は小幅に上昇し、ドル・円はむしろ弱い。そして何よりも驚くことに、アメリカの指標10年債の利回りは前日より下落して、今は1.51%に接近。コナンドラム的ではあるが、まるめて言うと「予想通り。慌てることは何もない」といったところでしょう。

 FOMCが二日間の会合後に公表した声明は以下の通りです。
 ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― 
Release Date: July 27, 2016

For release at 2:00 p.m. EDT

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in June indicates that the labor market strengthened and that economic activity has been expanding at a moderate rate. Job gains were strong in June following weak growth in May. On balance, payrolls and other labor market indicators point to some increase in labor utilization in recent months. Household spending has been growing strongly but business fixed investment has been soft. Inflation has continued to run below the Committee's 2 percent longer-run objective, partly reflecting earlier declines in energy prices and in prices of non-energy imports. Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; most survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed, on balance, in recent months.

Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. The Committee currently expects that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace and labor market indicators will strengthen. Inflation is expected to remain low in the near term, in part because of earlier declines in energy prices, but to rise to 2 percent over the medium term as the transitory effects of past declines in energy and import prices dissipate and the labor market strengthens further. Near-term risks to the economic outlook have diminished. The Committee continues to closely monitor inflation indicators and global economic and financial developments.

Against this backdrop, the Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1/4 to 1/2 percent. The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting further improvement in labor market conditions and a return to 2 percent inflation.

In determining the timing and size of future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate, the Committee will assess realized and expected economic conditions relative to its objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation. This assessment will take into account a wide range of information, including measures of labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial and international developments. In light of the current shortfall of inflation from 2 percent, the Committee will carefully monitor actual and expected progress toward its inflation goal. The Committee expects that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant only gradual increases in the federal funds rate; the federal funds rate is likely to remain, for some time, below levels that are expected to prevail in the longer run. However, the actual path of the federal funds rate will depend on the economic outlook as informed by incoming data.

The Committee is maintaining its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities and of rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction, and it anticipates doing so until normalization of the level of the federal funds rate is well under way. This policy, by keeping the Committee's holdings of longer-term securities at sizable levels, should help maintain accommodative financial conditions.

Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Janet L. Yellen, Chair; William C. Dudley, Vice Chairman; Lael Brainard; James Bullard; Stanley Fischer; Loretta J. Mester; Jerome H. Powell; Eric Rosengren; and Daniel K. Tarullo. Voting against the action was Esther L. George, who preferred at this meeting to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 1/2 to 3/4 percent.

04:45
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