1 Feb 2024


In a nutshell · The FOMC voted unanimously to leave benchmark rate unchanged - as expected - in target range of 5.25%-5.5% for fourth straight meeting while making significant changes to statement · However, the statement was very much more hawkish than expected, as The Fed pushed back aggressively against the dovish market stance. Market reaction: -> The 10-year Treasury yield fell more than 7 basis points to 3.98%. The yield on the 2-year Treasury was last down about 8 basis points at 4.27% -> US equity indices are retreating. Gold is paring gains, dollar is recovering. -> Odds of a March Fed rate cut plummet from 47% to 31% after the Fed interest rate decision. Our take: The U.S. economy enters 2024 from a position of strength. For instance, the S&P PMI came in higher than expected last week. Q4 GDP growth in the U.S. came in at 3.3% annualized, well above expectations of 2.0% growth. And while disinflation is firmly in place, the inflation rate remains above the central bank target. There is thus no reason for the Fed to rush. Nevertheless, we still believe they will have to cut rates at some point for the following reasons: 1/ Keeping rates too high for too long can have long-lasting effects on US economic growth 2/ Keeping rates steady while inflation is coming down imply rising real rates. Keeping positive real rates for too long at a time when Uncle Sam is facing $33T debt and surging interest rates payments is unsustainable


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