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You ask what has changed. A lot has changed since December including, for example, estimates of global growth for 2019 have come down substantially. In fact quite a lot has changed since May 1, which is only eight weeks ago, as I mentioned. At the meeting that ended on May 1, we had, coming out of that meeting, an excellent job report. Very strong job report that Friday.
We were looking at what tentative signs that the crosscurrents were abating. There were tentative reports of progress toward reaching a trade deal with China. There was better data coming out of China, better data better coming out of Europe. So all of that changed coming out of that meeting, beginning with the news that the trade negotiations with China had moved away from agreement and toward greater confrontation.
And I think I would just say that my colleagues and I still see a favourable outlook as the most likely outlook. But we do see that the risks to that outlook have increased. We're very mindful of those risks and prepared to use our policy tools to support activity as needed.
More policy accommodation, lower interest rates would support economic activity. Which would put more upward pressure on inflation. And I would say that's an argument for lower interest rates.
As I mentioned, I think that the independence of the Fed from direct political control is an important institutional feature that has served the country well, served the economy well, served the American public well. And it's also the same sort of broadly similar protections that other advanced economies' central banks have. And I think we have long experience that when you see central banks lacking those protections, you see bad things happening.
And that includes, by the way, our experience here in the United States. So I do think that that's important. At the Fed, we are a strictly non-political agency. We are doing our best to serve all Americans with our tools. We understand that we have a very important job. And we're very focused on doing that job.