十二月就快到,即是聯儲局可能快將加息﹐所以又是時候多做一些Fed 觀察的文章。今次想同各位看的,是上星期公佈的十月議息會議記錄

各大媒體有關這會議記錄的報道,主要集中提及會上多位FOMC成員認為,只要經濟數據無太大的偏差,十二月的議息會議(會期為12月15 – 16日)為合適的加息時間。

Some participants thought that the conditions for beginning the policy normalization process had already been met. Most participants anticipated that, based on their assessment of the current economic situation and their outlook for economic activity, the labor market, and inflation, these conditions could well be met by the time of the next meeting.



簡單介紹,自然利率亦即是整個經濟體的均衡實質利率(Equilibrium Real Interest rate),當現實上出現的實質利率與這理論上的均衡水平一致,整體經濟就會達致全民就業,而通脹亦可維持在穩定的低水平。


The staff presented several briefings regarding the concept of an equilibrium real interest rate–sometimes labeled the “neutral” or “natural” real interest rate, or “r*”–that can serve as a benchmark to help gauge the stance of monetary policy. Various concepts of r* were discussed.
According to one definition, short-run r* is the level of the real short-term interest rate that, if obtained currently, would result in the economy operating at full employment or, in some simple models of the economy, at full employment and price stability.


Estimates derived using a variety of empirical models of the U.S. economy and a range of econometric techniques indicated that short-run r* fell sharply with the onset of the 2008-09 financial crisis and recession, quite likely to negative levels. Short-run r* was estimated to have recovered only partially and to be close to zero currently, still well below levels that prevailed during recent economic expansions when the unemployment rate was close to estimates of its longer-run normal level.

局方的職員研究亦指出,短期自然利率走低至近零的情況,在多個成熟經濟體都有出現。而理論上,除非這些經濟體的Total Productivity Factor增長速度上升(好簡單的非學術說法係生產力增速上升),及人口老化不再拖累工作年齡人口增長,否則自然利率大有機會持續在低水平。

Moreover, economic theory indicates that the equilibrium level of short-term real interest rates would likely remain low relative to estimates of its level before the financial crisis if trend growth of total factor productivity does not pick up and if demographic projections for slow growth in working-age populations are borne out.

重點來啦,自然利率點影響聯儲局的貨幣政策決策?局方職員指出,近年美國失業率持續下跌,某程度反映該國的實質GDP增長輕輕高於Potential GDP增長;換句話說,美國的GDP總額正逐步追近Potential GDP,即是產能過盛的問題正慢慢解決。


The unemployment rate has declined gradually in recent years, indicating that real gross domestic product (GDP) growth has, on average, exceeded growth of potential GDP, but not by a substantial margin. This outcome, in turn, suggested that the actual level of short-term real interest rates has been below but not substantially below the equilibrium real rate, consistent with estimates that r* currently is close to zero, notably below its historical average.


A number of participants indicated that they expected short-run r* to rise as the economic expansion continued, but probably only gradually. Moreover, it was noted that the longer-run downward trend in real interest rates suggested that short-run r* would likely remain below levels that were normal during previous business cycle expansions, and that the longer-run normal level to which the nominal federal funds rate might be expected to converge in the absence of further shocks to the economy–that is, the level that would be consistent, in the long run, with maximum employment and 2 percent inflation–would likely be lower than was the case in previous decades



A smaller gap might increase the frequency of episodes in which policymakers would not be able to reduce the federal funds rate enough to promote a strong economic recovery and rapid return to maximum employment or to maintain price stability in the aftermath of negative shocks to aggregate demand. Some participants noted that it would be prudent to have additional policy tools that could be used in such situations.

The End

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