FOMC Preview for March 18-19: Evolving Forward Guidance, Smaller Bond Buys
* We expect another $10 billion cut in the asset purchase program.
* We anticipate the FOMC will offer some evolution in the quantitative thresholds for forward guidance towards a qualitative formulation for guidance.
* Assessment of economic outlook in the statement will reflect weather impacts in first quarter and continued low inflation readings while inflation expectations are stable.
* Summary of Economic Projections will probably see only slight adjustments to the FOMC's collective outlook.
* Chair Janet Yellen's first press briefing likely to focus on changes in communications and forward guidance.
Today Is SMR Survey Day!
SMR will conduct the weekly survey of SMR money managers today. Questions are listed in SMRA #30 on the Bloomberg and by clicking on the link here. Summary data will be proprietary to SMR clients. The results will be presented on Wednesday. Thank you for your participation!
Portfolio Manager Survey
US Economic Chartbooks
Please see our Economic Week Ahead Chartbook for a discussion of next week's economic releases provided in a visually friendly format that includes graphs, brief descriptions of SMR's forecasts, and links to detailed data previews. If you missed anything from last week, see our Economic Week in Review Chartbook for a look back at the releases with links to full analyses.
February Employment Analysis--Establishment and Household Surveys
(1) +175,000 February payroll increase better than expected
(2) Despite severe weather Construction payroll posted good gains
(3) Hours worked depressed by weather
(4) Uptick in Unemployment Rate largely due to new labor force entrants
(5) Uptick in Unemployment Rate not a big deal
(6) No pause in Fed Tapering
Thursday Fed Reports on SOMA and the Balance Sheet
On Thursdays at 16:30 ET, the Federal Reserve releases a variety of data on the System Open Market Account (SOMA) holdings and reserve balances at the Fed. Our calculation for the average maturity in months for the SOMA holdings in the week ended March 5 was 123.3, unchanged from the prior week. The Federal Reserve's balance increased $6.3 billion in the week. The change was mainly on an increase in Treasurys (+$11.2 billion) that was offset by a decline in Agency MBS (-$4.2 billion). For details, see our updates on March 6.