La Fed prête à plus de stimulus monétaire

Les minutes de la réunion des 22-23 juin de la Fed, publiées aujourd’hui, montrent que la banque centrale américaine est prête à davantage de stimulus monétaire de l’économie, dont elle a réduit la prévision de croissance cette année. Le PIB américain devrait progresser entre 3% et 3,5%, contre 3,2% à 3,7% dans une précédente prévision.

Etonnamment, la question de la déflation est effleurée par les membres de la Fed, qui croient davantage à une remontée graduelle de l’inflation, mais sur le long terme. A brève échéance, l’inflation devrait rester faible. Les commentaires de l’institution monétaire semblent surtout valider l’hypothèse d’une croissance molle au cours des prochains trimestres, justifiant le maintien de la politique accommodante menée jusqu’ici. Une décision qui fait néanmoins débat parmi les membres du comité de politique monétaire.

« In their discussion of monetary policy for the period ahead, members agreed that it would be appropriate to maintain the target range of 0 to 1/4 percent for the federal funds rate. The economic outlook had softened somewhat and a number of members saw the risks to the outlook as having shifted to the downside. Nonetheless, all saw the economic expansion as likely to be strong enough to continue raising resource utilization, albeit more slowly than they had previously anticipated. In addition, they saw inflation as likely to stabilize near recent low readings in coming quarters and then gradually rise toward more desirable levels. In sum, the changes to the outlook were viewed as relatively modest and as not warranting policy accommodation beyond that already in place. However, members noted that in addition to continuing to develop and test instruments to exit from the period of unusually accommodative monetary policy, the Committee would need to consider whether further policy stimulus might become appropriate if the outlook were to worsen appreciably. Given the slightly softer cast of recent data and the shift to less accommodative financial conditions, members agreed that some changes to the statement’s characterization of the economic and financial situation were necessary. Nearly all members judged that it was appropriate to reiterate the expectation that economic conditions–including low levels of resource utilization, subdued inflation trends, and stable inflation expectations–were likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period. One member, however, believed that continuing to communicate an expectation in the Committee’s statement that the federal funds rate would remain at an exceptionally low level for an extended period would create conditions that could lead to macroeconomic and financial imbalances. »

On peut également lire le compte-rendu plutôt complet fait par le Wall Street Journal.