Nick Nasad
All posts from Nick Nasad
Nick Nasad in Nick Nasad,

Forecasts for FOMC Decision from Major Banks

With the highly anticipated FOMC decision wrapping up tomorrow here's what some of the major banks have to say:

CMZ : 50/50 taper - if tapering then $10b in UST with possibility of dovish language/change of forward guidance language  Goldman’s: $10b in UST with upside risks to $15b.
Barx: $15b taper in UST + Taper to Finish by March 2014.
Citi: $10b UST taper + dovish language + Taper to finish by mid 2014.
BoA: No Taper + December more likely for announcing beginning of taper (Chance of a $10b in UST is poss.)
MS: Cautiously expect $10b USD in UST + the Fed to firm up its forward guidance language
RBS: $20b ($10b in UST, $10b in MBS) * DB: $15b ($10b in UST, $5b in MBS)
UBS: $10b Taper ($5b in UST, $5b in MBS)
JPM: $10b Taper in UST
CS: $20b taper ($10b in UST, $10b in MBS)
Nom: $10b Taper in UST.
HSBC: $15b Taper ($10b for UST and $5b for MBS)
BNP: No Taper at Sept meeting.

And here's Goldman Sachs's expectations and strategy for the FOMC meeting:

Bond purchases: Our US Economics team expects the Fed to trim its monthly purchases of US Treasury bonds by US$10bn to US$35bn, and leave MBS purchases unchanged at US$40bn per month. The market consensus appears to be for a slightly larger tapering (US$10-15bn on Treasuries and US$5bn on MBS). The other key variable is when the purchases will end. The prevailing consensus is around the middle part of next year, when unemployment is expected to break through 7% (from 7.3% currently).

Forward guidance: Our team’s baseline is that the statement will make the 6.5% unemployment threshold conditional on a return of inflation to the 2% target and will indicate even more explicitly that continued below-target inflation would translate into a longer lag between reaching the 6.5% threshold and the first hike. We also expect Fed officials to further increase their emphasis on the importance of broad labor market improvement. It is hard to tell what the market expects in this area. Our sense is that most investors expect some additional ‘verbiage’ around the economic conditions, but no change in the level of the thresholds. As far as the year-end Fed Fund forecast (the ‘dots’) goes, consensus is 1.0% for 2015 and 2.25% for 2016. These seem reasonable to us and similar to the current forwards.

From a markets strategy perspective, our US team’s baseline case strikes us on the dovish side of the consensus, and long-dated Treasuries are now somewhat higher than our models suggest is warranted by the cyclical outlook (see the September issue of our Fixed Income Monthly for more details). We remain comfortable with the neutral stance on bonds we recommended to switch to in early August, from bearish previously. The main contribution from the Fed would come from the removal of some of the uncertainty surrounding the future course of policy. Less uncertainty should translate into lower rate volatility, and a more stable term premium.

- Nick