Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Narayana Kocherlakota spoke in London today. He has been one of more optimistic Fed presidents, and he revised down his forecast today …
From Kocherlakota: Economic Outlook and the Current Tools of Monetary Policy
Our September estimates are distinctly lower than our August estimates. I now expect GDP growth to be around 2.4 per cent in the second half of 2010 and around 2.5 per cent in 2011.
From the fourth quarter of 2009 through the second quarter of 2010, the change in the PCE price level was just over 0.5 per cent, which works out to an annual rate of just over 1 per cent. … I expect inflation to remain at about this level during the rest of this year. However, our Minneapolis forecasting model predicts that it will rise back into the more desirable 1.5-2 per cent range in 2011.
To summarize: GDP is growing, but more slowly than I expected or than we would like. Inflation is a little low, but only temporarily. The behaviour of unemployment is deeply troubling.
This still seems too optimistic, but he is moving in the right direction.
And on the coming QE2:
My own guess is that further uses of QE would have a more muted effect on Treasury term premia. Financial markets are functioning much better in late 2010 than they were in early 2009. As a result, the relevant spreads are lower, and I suspect that it will be somewhat more challenging for the Fed to impact them.
Kocherlakota is currently an alternate member of the FOMC and will be a voting member next year. It is interesting that certain Fed presidents are now revising down their overly optimistic forecasts – all but guaranteeing QE2 (even if he thinks it will have little impact).