North America

  • 2019-12-12 12:40


    OTTAWA (MNI) - Following is the text of a speech by Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz Thursday in Toronto:

    Big Issues Ahead: The Bank's 2020 Vision

    Introduction

    It has become a tradition for me to give a speech at the end of the year about the major issues affecting the Canadian economy. I will only get to say this once, so I hope you will permit meToday, I want to focus on the Bank's 2020 vision. I want to walk you through some of the major forces acting on the economy and indicate what the Bank will be doing about them. I touched on some of these issues back in September at the Changing Fortunes Round Table at Spruce Meadows, in Calgary. Since then, I've been working to formalize those ideas in a paper, which the Bank is publishing today.

  • 2019-12-12 12:40


    By Greg Quinn and Anahita Alinejad

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said unemployment remains near historic lows in a speech given the week after the country reported the biggest rise in joblessness since the last recession a decade ago.

    "Canada's economy is operating close to capacity, inflation is on target, labour force participation is up across almost all age groups, and the jobless rate is near historic lows," Poloz said in the text of a speech he's giving Thursday in Toronto.

    Poloz didn't give a near-term outlook for the BOC's policy rate in a speech focused on long-run trends in the global economy and the central bank's 2020 research plans.

  • 2019-12-11 15:22


    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following is the portion of a transcript from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's press conference after the FOMC meeting Wednesday:

    Q: Before the July meeting, you said something colorful, you said to call something hot you would need to see some heat referring to the labor market. To expand on Nancy's questions, seems like the wage focus has been explored but what would you need to see to call the labor market hot in that case? Would it be a rather a change in the headline number of gains or in the unemployment rate?

    A: Wages, really. There is so many other measures that suggest that the labor market is, I like to say labor market is strong, I don't want to say that it's tight. Someone asked me a question about a hot labor market.

  • 2019-12-11 15:19


    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following is the portion of a transcript from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's press conference after the FOMC meeting Wednesday:

    Q: Why aren't we seeing stronger wage gains? Wages are growing more slowly now than they were toward the beginning of the year. Why is that?

    A: Well, wage gains have moved up a bit, if you look back three, four years, you will see wages are growing around 2 percent, now you see them moving up more 3, 3 and a half percent. Why aren't they growing higher, at a faster rate? It's a couple of things. I think there are a range of explanations. One would be that productivity has just been low. Wages should go up to cover inflation and productivity.

  • 2019-12-11 15:14


    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following is the portion of a transcript from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's press conference after the FOMC meeting Wednesday:

    Q: Chairman Powell, many people seem worried that the framework that you guys are working on is going to be the, the results are going to be less rather than more. People keep coming back and saying, why, asking why you took off like a 4 percent inflation rate off the table, even when it started, I mean, as you said, if going around the country for all the listen events, I don't think I heard anybody worry about a 4 percent inflation rate or think that higher inflation rate was going to be a problem. Where does that concern come from? Is it members of congress that have said this?

    A: No.

  • 2019-12-11 15:11


    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following is the portion of a transcript from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's press conference after the FOMC meeting Wednesday:

    Q: does the fed's dot plot still serve a useful communications purpose or do you feel it might be time to retire it or change it in some fashion?

    A: I think properly understood, it can be useful. But that's been a challenge. I think properly understood to me means looking at what it is and not at what it isn't. What it is, is a expression of the thinking about individual committee members, about appropriate monetary policy and the path of the economy. Remember that we write all that down and we send it in, and it gets compiled. But we don't discuss it at the meeting. We don't negotiate. There is no agreement.

  • 2019-12-11 15:09


    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following is the portion of a transcript from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's press conference after the FOMC meeting Wednesday:

    Q: what would you imagine the economic effect would be if negotiations with China were to fall apart, and how would the fed be able to support the economy in that event?

    A: I wouldn't want to speculate on a hypothetical. I would say, we will have to say. We look at a range of factors and as I've said, we look through the volatility in trade news and trade negotiations, we try not to react. We can't react. Monetary policy is not the right tool to react in the very short term to volatility and things that can change back and forth as has happened, as is probably typical of a large complex negotiation.

  • 2019-12-11 15:07


    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following is the portion of a transcript from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's press conference after the FOMC meeting Wednesday:

    Q: You started by talking about Paul Volker who cast a long shadow. I wonder if in hindsight that shadow was too long, and if in the decade since his tenure and in particular last year, if the fed was too quick to raise interest rates, to attack an inflation boogeyman that didn't materialize.

    A: This wouldn't be, my response will not be about Paul Volker. But so though you started with Paul Volker. If you look at 2018, I'll take you back to the beginning of 2018, we had a economy growing at 3 percent, we had inflation at 2 percent.

  • 2019-12-11 15:05


    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following is the portion of a transcript from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's press conference after the FOMC meeting Wednesday:

    Q: I want to ask the only change in the statement was a drop in the reference to uncertainties around the economy. You seem confident or it implies there is a lot of confidence that those uncertainties have gone away. What caused you to make that change for this statement, what were you looking at?

    A: We did actually, if you look at the statement, you will notice that we did call out global developments and muted inflation pressures later in the statement. Why did we do that? Those are things that we have been monitoring all year.

  • 2019-12-11 15:02


    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following is the portion of a transcript from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's press conference after the FOMC meeting Wednesday:

    Q: I want to ask more about the repo issues and what you are doing beyond open market operations. Are you currently, for example, telling examiners not to prefer reserves over treasuries for supervisory purposes? Are you talking to the treasury department about reducing the level of volatility in their account at the fed? On the standing repo facility, is it that you would be inclined to do it but you need to figure out the details? Or what would drive the decision on whether or not to do that?

    A: So on treasuries versus reserves, we have done a ton of work on that.