In our weekly Top Down outlook report we said the announcement due after current week’s monetary policy meeting the Fed is widely expected to make only minor changes to the statement released after the November 4 FOMC meeting. Following the latest monetary policy meeting, FOMC members have repeatedly confirmed that "economic conditions are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period". Indeed, while the economic prospects have improved in recent weeks, even though less than previously estimated, the medium-term economic outlook is clouded in uncertainty as economic growth seems to be fuelled only by the fiscal and monetary stimulus packages that governments have implemented so far. Given a rosy short-term inflation outlook we expect the Fed to consider that the costs of moving too soon are probably higher than those of being late. We do not pencil in a Fed rate hike before H2 2010, when the current slack in resource utilization could reverse and inflation expectations improve should the ongoing economic recovery turn out to be sustainable.