27 Jul 2023

Why a "hawkish hold" by the Fed remains a high probability outcome.

The bar for the Fed to start cutting interest rates is high. It is also worthwhile to remember that Powell job remains a difficult one in light of what has been taking place since the start of the hiking rates cycle and more recently. Indeed, 1) the unemployment rate is exactly where it was when the Fed started hiking last March...(hot job market = wage pressure =higher inflation) - see UPPER CHART BELOW 2) Financial conditions are now far easier than where they were last September... 3) The S&P 500 is back where it was just as the Fed started hiking - see LOWER CHART 4) Meanwhile, commodity prices are starting to ramp up, which could add upward pressure on headline inflation. Bottom line: while markets expect rate cuts to soon follow due to cooling inflation, there is a very decent probability that the Fed might be forced holding tight. Source: Bloomberg, www.zerohedge.com


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