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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Fed President Indicates More Interest Rate Hikes Still Possible

Here are a few key points about the Federal Reserve President’s recent comments indicating more interest rate hikes are still possible:

Fed Remains Data-Dependent

The Fed President reiterated that the central bank’s approach to further rate increases will remain highly data-dependent. They are closely monitoring economic data points like inflation, employment, consumer spending, and more to guide their monetary policy decisions.

Inflation Remains Elevated

While inflation has come down from its peak in 2022, it remains elevated above the Fed’s 2% target. The latest readings show core inflation (excluding food and energy) is still running hot. This could prompt more rate hikes to cool demand and bring inflation under control.

Labor Market Remains Tight

The robust labor market, with the unemployment rate near 50-year lows, is another factor driving the Fed’s thinking. A tight labor market can feed into higher wage growth and inflation pressures. More rate increases could help rebalance labor supply and demand.

No Rate Cuts Priced In Yet

Market expectations currently do not have any interest rate cuts fully priced in until 2024. The Fed President’s comments reinforce that the central bank may need to raise rates further before pivoting to cuts down the road.

Gradual and Data-Driven Approach

The overall tone indicates the Fed will likely continue raising rates gradually and remain data-dependent. However, the path forward is highly uncertain and will depend on incoming economic data over the next few months.

In summary, while more rate hikes seem possible based on the comments, the Fed is firmly in data-dependent mode as it tries to navigate a soft landing and bring inflation back down to target levels.

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