Analysts at Nomura explain that the September FOMC minutes held few surprises as most of the main topics had already been discussed publicly by Chair Powell and others.
“The discussion on recent economic activity, with the economy “evolving about as anticipated,” was consistent with the minimal changes to the post-meeting statement in September. The Committee solidified the outlook for a fourth 2018 hike in December.”
“In addition, consistent with Chair Powell’s press conference, the minutes reaffirmed that the language on “accommodative” policy no longer served its original purpose and that removing it from the post-meeting statement was not a signal of approaching the end of the hiking cycle.”
“The Committee spent more time emphasizing risks to the outlook from external developments including a stronger dollar – as a result of diverging US and foreign growth – and potential emerging market stress.”
“In addition, the minutes continued to highlight downside risk from trade policy developments on growth. However, these downside risks were balanced by “high consumer confidence, accommodative financial conditions, or greater-than-expected effects of fiscal stimulus.” Taken altogether, the minutes did not change our outlook for monetary policy. We continue to expect an additional hike in December followed by two hikes in 2019.”