No Fed fireworks, but plenty of clues, expected at Jackson Hole

Sun Aug 17, 2014 5:04am EDT
 
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By Andy Bruce

LONDON (Reuters) - Flashes of illumination rather than fireworks are expected at this week's annual meeting of top central bankers and economists in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Few predict anything so momentous as the speech by Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke two years ago that paved the way for an unprecedented $85 billion per month stimulus plan.

But policymakers will discuss at length their thinking around the labor markets of major economies at the Aug. 21-23 meeting, perhaps dropping clues about the path for monetary policy in the months ahead.

The spotlight will be on Janet Yellen, who will speak on Friday in her first appearance at Jackson Hole as Fed chair.

"I don't think she's going to go anywhere close to monetary policy," said Stephen Lewis, chief economist at ADM Investor Services.

"The theme of the meeting is going to be dynamics of the labor market, which is a subject very close to her heart, and it is a key question for the Fed as it tries to work out what its policy should be over the next few months."

Lewis said he expected a speech similar to one given by Bernanke in March 2012, when he outlined what he thought of the various indicators of the labor market.

Other speakers include Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, Central Bank of Brazil Governor Alexandre Antonio Tombini and Bank of England Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent.   Continued...

 
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange August 15, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid