Following a less hawkish tone from Chair Powell in his press conference early this month, the yield curve now suggests a potential turning point has been reached, reflecting investors’ belief that the Fed is done raising rates and growing expectations of rate cuts in 2024.
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For now, the FOMC will continue with a “meeting-by-meeting” strategy until they are confident that they have achieved a stance of monetary policy that is sufficiently restrictive to bring inflation down to 2% over time.
We expect the FOMC to hold the fed funds rate steady at its 5.25-5.50% target range, but also to keep its doors open for an additional rate hike in December, as signaled by the 5.6% median peak rate projection revealed in the September SEP.
The additional tightening of financial conditions resulting from the recent increase in long-term Treasury yields reinforces our view that the federal funds rate has peaked at its current 5.25-5.50% target range.
The yield curve has flattened as mid- and long-term yields have moved up sharply “not because of inflation”; it probably has “something to do with stronger growth” and more recently with a more hawkish Fed.
It still points to one more 25bp rate hike this year as the Fed is still not fully confident about inflation and feels it needs to strengthen market’s expectations about the need for “higher for longer” rates.
The strength of the economy and the job market will refrain the Fed from ruling out the chance of an additional rate hike this year. For now, the FOMC will skip and leave its options open.
With the only change to the policy statement being a somewhat more upbeat assessment of the economic expansion pace, the door for an additional 25bp hike in September remains wide open, but another skip is more likely in our opinion.
Tomorrow’s policy statement and Powell's comments will likely remain hawkish to keep options open despite recent data pointing to cooling inflation. We will look for signals that challenge or support our baseline view that tomorrow’s hike will …
Earlier this month, FOMC members voted unanimously for a skip rather than a longer pause with recent indicators suggesting that economic activity has continued to expand at a modest pace
In its most recent decision, the Fed did not change the monetary policy rate, keeping it between 5% and 5.25%. This after ten consecutive increases in the steepest hiking cycle in the last fifty years.
The FOMC voted unanimously to keep the target range for the fed funds rate unchanged at 5.00-5.25% but a hawkish shift in the updated SEP signaled that, with a more resilient economy and more stubborn inflation, nearly all members think that the Fed needs to do more.