Tags: Westpac | Fed | taper | 2014

Westpac: Fed Won't Taper in 2014

By    |   Friday, 13 December 2013 08:54 AM

While most Federal Reserve watchers now expect the central bank to announce a tapering of its quantitative easing as soon as next week or as late as March, Australia's Westpac Bank doesn't think the central bank will move before 2015.

"This view is driven by our sense that both employment data and inflation measures simply do not justify Fed tapering anytime soon," Rob Rennie, Westpac's global head of currency strategy, said in an e-mail to CNBC.

CNBC didn't specify whether his comments came before Friday's jobs report, which showed that payrolls grew 203,000 in November and that the unemployment rate fell to a five-year low of 7 percent.

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"While headline jobs data has improved, any look at the detail shows clear weakness," Rennie said. "Look at the participation rate." That totaled a measly 63 percent in November, close to a 35-year low.

As for inflation, consumer prices fell 0.1 percent in October and rose 1 percent in the year through that month.

If the Fed does taper next year, "it will be a start-stop affair and it will be at least partially replaced by other forms of monetary stimulus," Rennie noted. "By 2015, we do see the U.S. economy getting closer to escape velocity and taper happening then."

In a Bloomberg poll of 35 economists conducted last Friday, 34 percent expect a tapering to be announced at the Dec. 17-18 Fed meeting, while 53 percent believe it won't come until March.

"Clearly the economy is performing far better than the [Fed] expected, and there's no reason not to get started with tapering," James Smith, chief economist at Parsec Financial Management, told Bloomberg. He predicts the Fed will taper next week.

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While most Federal Reserve watchers now expect the central bank to announce a tapering of its quantitative easing as soon as next week or as late as March, Australia's Westpac Bank doesn't think the central bank will move before 2015.
Westpac,Fed,taper,2014
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2013-54-13
Friday, 13 December 2013 08:54 AM
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