Fed Rate Reaches 22-Year High
Don’t rock the boat. This was the motto as FOMC hiked rates by another 25 bps on Wednesday, reaching a 22-year high as anticipated. During the subsequent press conference, Fed Chair Powell stuck to his previous remarks without veering off course. While the current market sentiment suggests no further rate hikes, Powell emphasized that core inflation remained unacceptably high, and the Fed remained committed to its 2% target.
The overarching message conveyed was that the Fed would remain data dependent. Thursday morning brought a deluge of economic data, all pointing towards the resilience of the American economy. GDP, Durable Goods, and Pending Home Sales all surprised to the upside, indicating a willingness among Americans to spend. Simultaneously, the labor market continued to thrive, with Initial Jobless Claims coming in softer than expected. Powell's insistence on the Fed being data dependent and the strong data released less than 24 hours later raises the question of whether the Fed might go against the market consensus and consider another rate hike in the fall.