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Manufacturing & The Economy

NABE Survey: Tighter Economic Policies Needed, But Not Immediately

The NABE March 2013 Economic Policy Survey presents the consensus of a panel of 196 members of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE).

A slight majority of the respondents indicated that monetary policy is “about right” at present, although the percentage responding that policy was “too stimulative” was significantly higher than the share that held that view in the September survey. Although most panelists felt that the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing (QE) has been successful, most also favored termination of additional asset purchases sometime in 2013. Only 5% of respondents look for the Fed to hike interest rates in 2013, with the vast majority of the panel suggesting that the fed funds rate will not increase until 2014 or 2015. The panel was evenly divided on whether or not the Federal Open Market Committee should have an unemployment threshold in its forward policy guidance.

The current survey panel was almost equally divided on the status of fiscal policy today, with 35% of participants each describing policy as “too restrictive” or “about right” and 30% stating policy is “too stimulative.” This distribution represents a slight shift from results of the September 2012 Policy Survey in which 43% of respondents considered fiscal policy to be “too restrictive,” and likely reflects the modest improvement in economic activity observed since the September survey was conducted.

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