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Some FED members took Trump’s potential fiscal stimulus into account, according to the latest minutes. But they are certainly uncertain.

Here is their view, courtesy of eFXnews:

The FOMC members think the economic outlook is very ‘uncertain’ until we get more information about ‘Trumponomics’. The word ‘uncertain’ is mentioned 15 times versus five times in the minutes from the November meeting.

The FOMC members think ‘growth might turn out to be faster or slower than they currently anticipated’ depending on the policy mix (tougher immigration rules and more protectionism slow growth while infrastructure spending and tax cuts increase growth). ‘Almost all’ FOMC members think there are upside risks to their growth forecasts due to the likely fiscal boost, which they have not fully taken into account.

Given the Fed’s focus on ‘Trumponomics’, any comments or tweets from Donald Trump on economic policy will be followed closely.

We stick to our view that the Fed will hike twice this year (June and December) but believe the risk is skewed towards three hikes. One of the reasons is that the Fed has turned more dovish this year due to shifting voting rights, which mean that we (for now) weight dovish comments more relative to hawkish comments. This year we learned that it does not take much for the (dovish) FOMC members to postpone a hike.

That said, we believe the Fed is likely to increase its hiking pace in 2018 (late 2017 at the earliest), as we think Trump’s fiscal policy is likely to have the biggest growth impact in 2018 due to policy lags (see also Five Macro Themes for 2017, 1 December 2016), although much can obviously still happen before 2018.

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