Thursday, November 02, 2006

Fisher on the tape

FRB of Dallas president Richard Fisher spoke in New York today, speaking mostly about data quality and the need to look at activity beyond U.S. borders when making decisions about domestic monetary policy.

This speech sounds a little less hawkish than other's he's given recently. His (and my) favorite inflation gauge -- trimmed mean PCE -- printed a little lower last month, falling to 1.7% from 2.7% the previous month. The YoY number is still 2.6%, which everyone would agree is too high. Anyway, Fisher characterized the inflation picture thusly:

"It is possible that the trend in overall consumer inflation has peaked and is finally heading lower. Next, the not-so-good news: The overall inflation trend remains at a level above my comfort zone. I am encouraged by the change in direction of trend inflation, and I hope that in the future my CEO and CFO contacts will be telling me that the competitive forces of globalization have kept their pricing power limited or nonexistent."

I have to read that as Fisher would start to feel more amiable to cuts if trimmed PCE continued to print below 2%, particularly if the YoY number would fall to that level.

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