Fed Testimony

Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress

By Janet Yellen

Looking forward, prospects are favorable for further improvement in the U.S. labor market and the economy more broadly. Low oil prices

Still seems to leave out the fact that a dollar saved by the buyer of oil is a dollar lost by the seller.

And ongoing employment gains should continue to bolster consumer spending, financial conditions generally remain supportive of growth,

Yes, but the growth rate of lending has only been relatively modest and stable

And the highly accommodative monetary policies abroad should work to strengthen global growth.

Low and negative rates and quantitative easing now have a very long history of not resulting in increased aggregate demand.

In addition, some of the headwinds restraining economic growth, including the effects of dollar appreciation on net exports and the effect of lower oil prices on capital spending, should diminish over time.

Yes, but the question is what will replace the lost capital spending? Without that incremental capital expenditure, growth, at best, stagnates and likely goes negative as the ‘demand leakages’ continue to grow.

Also, the weakness in U.S. exports is partially the consequence of lower oil prices as reduced U.S. expense for imported oil = reduced income available to non residents to import U.S. goods and services. And the decline in global oil capital expenditures works against global growth and U.S. exports as well.

As a result, the FOMC expects U.S. GDP growth to strengthen over the remainder of this year and the unemployment rate to decline gradually. As always, however, there are some uncertainties in the economic outlook. Foreign developments, in particular, pose some risks to U.S. growth. Most notably, although the recovery in the Euro area appears to have gained a firmer footing,

That’s due to the weak Euro helping their exports. You can’t have it both ways- if the dollar becomes less of a headwind for the U.S., the Euro will become less of a tailwind for the EU.

The situation in Greece remains difficult. And China continues to grapple with the challenges posed by high debt, weak property markets, and volatile financial conditions. But economic growth abroad could also pick up more quickly than observers generally anticipate, providing additional support for U.S. economic activity.

This again assumes lower rates and quantitative easing are accommodative, particularly in the EU and China

The U.S. economy also might snap back more quickly as the transitory influences holding down first-half growth fade and the boost to consumer spending from low oil prices shows through more definitively.

Again, still assumes lower oil prices are a net positive.