Fed: Downside risks eased in late 2019 but virus is a new threat

Comments in the semi-annual monetary policy

  • US economy grew moderately last year
  • Labor market strengthened further and inflation continued to run below target
  • Probability of recession in the next year has ‘fallen noticeably’ in recent months
  • Downside risks seem to have receded in late 2019 due to decrease in trade tensions
  • Global slowdown in manufacturing and trade appears to be nearing an end while consumer spending and services activities continue to hold up
  • Possible virus spillovers present a new risk
  • Asset valuations and business debt are elevated; leverage in the financial sector appears low by historical norms
  • Fragilities in the corporate and financial sector in China are a risk
  • Market conditions were quite calm around year end after added liquidity
There’s nothing groundbreaking here.