The FOMC update last night was never going to set the world on fire, however this one was particularly tough to get excited about. However, there was one topic that Powell continued to bat away like the great Sir Viv Richards in his prime. Even with the positive revisions to the language around the economic outlook, Powell batted away effortlessly any attempts by the press group to get him talking about removing accommodation
One of his sharpest responses in the press conference came when he was asked (again) if it was time to start talking about taper, to which he responded: ‘No. It is not time yet. We have said we would let the public know when it is time to have that conversation. We said we would do that well in advance to the decision of tapering. In the meantime, we will monitor progress toward our goals. We first articulated this further practicing test at our December meeting, economic activity and hiring have recently picked up after slowing over the winter. It will take some time before we see substantial further progress’.
Later on, he was perhaps even more forceful: ‘Remember, substantial further progress as measured from our December meeting. And then vaccination started to get more widespread. The economy started to reopen. We got a nice job report for March. It doesn't constitute substantial further progress. It's not close to substantial further progress. We are hopeful we'll see along this path a way to that goal. We believe we will. It's a question of when. When the time comes for us to talk about talk it, we'll do that. The time is not now. We have had one great jobs report. It is not enough. We're going to act on actual data, not on forecast. We're going to see more data. It's no more complicated than that’.
England’s greatest all rounder Sir Ian Botham once said that bowling to Sir Viv Richards at times was like bowling to God.