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Is It Time To Start Thinking About Thinking About Tapering? No!

Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell stuck to the script this week in the press conference following the FOMC statement release. He stuck to the script that has become all-too-familiar for most investors. Yes, the economy is improving, but no it is not enough for the Fed to begin to ‘lift-off’ or curtail asset purchases. Inflation is rising but it is transitory. The official line isn’t changing despite the improving economic picture and ahead-of-schedule progress on vaccinations.

The Chairman directly answered whether he was ‘thinking about thinking’ about raising rates or tapering and he directly said the answer is no. The bottom line is this, the Fed’s goals are very ambitious, and the numbers simply aren’t there yet. Powell wants to see again, “substantial” further progress. As of March, the economy still had significantly less jobs than before the pandemic, with 8.4 million less.

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