9:24 AM » Fed on Track to Hold Policy Steady, Mull Economic Puzzles
The Wall Street Journal's Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Monday, April 28, 2014 Sign up for the newsletter: http://on.wsj.com/grandcentralsignup . "Janet L. Yellen, the new [Fed] chair, has felt the need to continually reassure the markets that cheap and easy credit will be available for years to come. The Fed's upbeat message: Party on, dudes." -Washington Post Columnist Steven Pearlstein HILSENRATH'S TAKE The Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting is shaping up as a low-key event compared with other meetings in the past few months. The Fed is on track to scale back its monthly bond-buying by another $10 billion to $45 billion. Having revised its guidance about interest rates in March it looks unlikely to do so again. Its assessment of the economy's performance seems unlikely to change substantially. Labor indicators have been improving, though mixed, and the jobless rate remains elevated. Inflation is still running below the Fed's 2% objective. Growth indicators are evolving largely as officials expected: As they said in March, activity looks like it slowed in the winter months, though officials might acknowledge some signs of pickup in March and early April. Household spending, for instance, appears to have improved. A bigger surprise has been on the housing front, where activity has slowed.