Every year the leaders of the Federal Reserve, important policy makers, and economists flock to Jackson Hole, Wyoming for an annual retreat sponsored by The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. The retreat began in 1982 and has been held in Jackson Hole for the simple reason that the Fed Chair at the time, Paul Volcker, loved fly-fishing. The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City knew that having the Fed Chair at the event would be a big boom, so they enticed him by hosting it in a city with great fly-fishing.
Throughout the retreat, policy makers will chat about the market and economists will speculate what is to come for the markets. Several speeches will be given that market watchers will be picking apart in order to determine what the Fed is thinking about doing. Speakers for the week include the Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer, the European central Banks’s Vice President Vitlor Constancio, and the Band of England’s Governor Mark Carney.
The topic of the retreat is nothing too exciting – “Inflation Dynamics and Monetary Policy.” This topic is apt considering the current state of the market. Inflation has been subdued in many modern markets despite an improvement in the labor market. One factor of inflation staying lower for longer may be due to the strength of the dollar and the declining oil prices. The desire of several at the retreat is that consumer-price inflation will start to move toward 2% per annum. In fact the Kansas City Fed stated the following on the topic of the retreat:
“Following the global financial crisis and Great Recession, inflation has behaved unexpectedly in many countries. Advanced economies have faced inflation rates running below targets despite aggressive monetary actions, and the international dimensions of inflation are of increasing importance. These observations make policymakers question to what extent the relationship between inflation and monetary policy has changed. Investigating this issue requires dissecting both micro- and macro-level data using novel frameworks. The 2015 Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium will address these issues as central banks contemplate monetary policy implications for inflation dynamics.”
Although the focus of the retreat is on “Inflation Dynamics and Monetary Policy,” you can be sure the recent market activity weighs heavily upon their minds. Throughout recent weeks there has been no sign that the recent woes have influenced the Fed’s decision to possibly raise the interest rates in September. Their belief in the strength of the U.S. jobs market and domestic economic output reaffirms the belief that raising the interest rate will not set back the American economy. The Fed is set to have its next meeting on September 17, where many people believe they will raise the interest rate. Those advocates for holding off on raising the interest rate are few and far between, and even they acknowledge they are in the minority of policy makers.
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