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2006年1月 4日 (水)

連邦準備制度理事会議事録

昨年12月13日の連邦準備制度理事会議事録が公表され(今から数時間前です)、Fedとしてもずっと金利を上げ続けるわけではないといったような発言も出た(↓)とのことで、年初めのニューヨークの株式は高騰しています。

それにしても、2004年6月から2005年12月にかけて、13回にもわたって金利を上げ続けてきたのですから、グリーンスパンも信念の人です。

日銀はどうするでしょうか。私の予想では今年中には、量的緩和政策を解除するものの実質的なゼロ金利政策を当面継続することを約束するという「やや分かりにくい着地点」に到達すると見ています。

日米の中央銀行の舵取りにあたっての知恵比べが見ものです。

Minutes Show Federal Reserve Policy-Makers Believe Interest Rate-Hike Campaign Was Nearing End

Federal Reserve Releases Meeting Minutes


Tuesday January 3, 5:33 pm ET
By Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal Reserve policymakers differed last month on how much higher interest rates would need to rise to keep the economy and inflation on an even keel, but most believed the end of the nearly two-year rate-hike campaign probably wasn't far off.Minutes of the Fed's closed-door meeting on Dec. 13, released Tuesday, provided insight into the most extensive changes to date in the wording of the central bank's policy statement, which economists parse for clues about the possible course of future rate moves.

"Views differed on how much further tightening might be required," the minutes said, explaining why changes were made to the Fed's policy statement released after the December meeting.

One of the most important changes was that the Fed dropped language -- contained in previous statements -- that described interest rates as being too low, or accommodative. Economists viewed that as a sign that the Fed was winding down its rate-raising campaign.

Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan and his colleagues decided at the December meeting to boost rates for the 13th time since June 2004 to prevent inflation from flaring up. They noted that the economy was growing solidly and that the labor market had gotten stronger, forces that could lead to a pickup in inflation.

"Although future action would depend on the incoming data, this characterization of the outlook for policy was seen by most members as indicating that, given the information now in hand, the number of additional firming steps required probably would not be large," the minutes stated.

On Wall Street, stocks were buoyed by the Fed's assessment. The Dow Jones industrials surged 129.91 points to close at 10,847.41. The Standard & Poor's 500 index and the Nasdaq composite index also finished higher.

The Fed's action in December left its key short-term rate, called the federal funds rate, at 4.25 percent, the highest in 4 1/2 years. The funds rate is the interest that banks charge each other on overnight loans and is the Fed's main tool to influence economic activity.

The rate increase was part of an 18-month process where the Fed was focused on lifting rates from extraordinarily low levels to more normal ones. Before the Fed embarked on its rate-raising campaign in June 2004, the funds rate had been sliced to 1 percent, a 46-year low, in an effort to help the economy get back on its feet after the 2001 recession, terror attacks and a wave of accounting scandals that rocked Wall Street.

Throughout the Fed's rate-raising cycle, it had pledged in its policy statement to boost rates at a "measured" pace. Economists came to view that as one-quarter percentage point increments. The Fed's 13 rate increases thus far have all been quarter-point hikes.

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