Five Takeaways From the Fed Minutes From the January Meeting

(Bloomberg) -- Five Takeaways from the FOMC Minutes from Jan. 29-30 meeting:

  1. There was widespread agreement for the FOMC to end shrinkage of the $4 trillion balance sheet by the end of the year. The timetable ends uncertainty over whether shedding assets would further tighten financial conditions.
  2. The FOMC essentially said it is throwing out the December forecasts for two rate hikes this year, and instead “many” on the committee were unsure whether any adjustments would be needed.
  3. The committee is taking a patient approach in light of increasing downside risks, notably slowing global growth and turmoil in financial markets. Some FOMC participants were cutting their estimates for 2019 U.S. growth.
  4. The Fed was becoming more dovish in its view on inflation, noting the outlook had become more muted compared to last year even though the U.S. labor market has been tightening.
  5. U.S. stocks were mixed, while Treasuries edged lower after release of the minutes, indicating not a big surprise from investors.

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