Fed Tweaks Assessment and Does Nothing New with QEII

By Marc Chandler

The FOMC tweaked their economic assessment and recognized the sharp rise in commodity prices in recent months, but believes that longer-term inflation expectations remain anchored. It specifically says that it expects the rise in commodity prices to be transitory. It seemed to also heighten its alertness to changes in inflation and inflation expectations. And no surprise, it indicated it would continue to buy Treasuries as it had previously outlined.

The FOMC acknowledged the data that points to the "recovery is on firmer footing" and noted that the labor market appears to be "gradually improving." In Jan the FOMC said that the high unemployment was still constraining consumption. It dropped this reference. It did continue to express concern about the weakness in non-residential investment.

On balance, outside of some minor adjustments in the economic assessment and heightened vigilance against inflation, there is little new here and the markets response has also been quite minor.

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