17 Jan 2024

On the timing of the first cut, Waller said he believes that the FOMC will be able to lower the funds rate “this year.”

Main culprits from yesterday's pullback in Wall Street were comments by Governor Waller in a speech and discussion as they raised the risk that the first cut could come slightly later than the market's expectation of March and that the pace of cuts could be quarterly from the outset, rather than the market's more aggressive forecast of three initial consecutive cuts followed by a switch to a quarterly pace. On the speed of cuts, Waller said the funds rate “can and should be lowered methodically and carefully” and that he sees “no reason to move as quickly or cut as rapidly as in the past,” when the FOMC was combating recessions. Waller also noted that next month's scheduled revisions to CPI inflation (the seasonal factors will be revised on February 9) could influence his thinking on rates cuts, especially if the revised data show a less clear deceleration recently. The result was most evident in the drop in the market's expectations for a rate-cut in March...


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