AlphaNinja - The Federal Reserve released the "minutes" of the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) June meeting earlier today, so here's a look:
Much like we've heard out of every TV and news pundit, the Fed thinks that the "pace of decline" is slowing. That's their view of nearly every metric both domestic and international.
The information reviewed at the June 23-24 meeting suggested that the economy remained very weak, though declines in activity seemed to be lessening. Employment was still falling, and manufacturers had cut production further in response to excess inventories and soft demand. But the reductions in employment and industrial production had slowed somewhat, consumer spending appeared to be holding reasonably steady after shrinking in the second half of 2008, and sales and construction of single-family homes had apparently flattened out. In addition, the recent declines in capital spending were smaller than those recorded earlier in the year. Consumer price inflation was fairly quiescent in recent months, although the upturn in energy prices appeared likely to boost headline inflation in June.
As usual, the most interesting part of these releases is the projections, namely the change in these projections. As I've written about before, I think the 4.9% estimate for long-term unemployment is woefully low, and only serves to project a healthier financial future than is really in store.