The Bank of England monetary policy announcement and press conference went broadly as expected today, with the central bank holding off on raising rates while maintaining that they will rise gradually over the forecast period.
Last Friday’s U.S. December employment increased less than expected (+156k vs. +176k), but the markets interpretation in a rebound in wages (+0.4% m/m) suggests a sustained labor market momentum that sets up the domestic economy for stronger growth and further interest rate increases from the Fed in 2017.
The Fed did not surprise, they did what was expected of them on the headline, but it’s their foresight that has capital markets wildly gyrating.
The big takeaway from yesterday’s FOMC meeting is the increase in the pace of tightening that’s been signaled for next year. Policy members voted unanimously to raise its target for the fed funds rate up +0.25% to +0.5%- 0.75%.
The U.S. non farm payrolls (NFP) report hit all the right notes with job gains, wage growth and small upticks in the participation rate leaving the unemployment rate steady at 4.9 percent but the biggest contribution was easing market fears about the slowdown of the American economy after a soft advanced gross domestic product (GDP).