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Fed shifting back to risk management mode

The upward revisions to the “dot plot” at this week’s FOMC meeting were hard to square with Fed officials’ continued belief that higher inflation will prove mostly transitory. Nevertheless, we also now expect two 25bp rate hikes in 2023, one more than we had previously pencilled in.
Andrew Hunter Senior US Economist
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US Economics Weekly

Spender of last resort

With China’s economy hampered by its zero-covid lockdowns, and Europe’s economy suffering because of the massive surge in imported energy prices caused by the war in Ukraine, the American consumer has once-again emerged as the world’s spender of last resort.

20 May 2022

US Chart Book

Economy powering ahead

The strength of the hard activity data for April refutes the recent message from financial markets that the economy is at risk of imminent recession. The solid gain in control group retail sales, together with upward revisions to past months leaves the underlying trend in consumer spending looking much stronger. Meanwhile the continued rebound in manufacturing output, in particular the recovery in vehicle output to the pre-pandemic level, illustrates how the gradual easing of supply shortages is supporting a rebound in production. With signs that core inflation is still running far too hot, the continued strength of economic activity supports the Fed’s decision to press ahead with 50bp rate hikes at the next couple of FOMC meetings. Nevertheless, we still expect a drop back in inflation later this year, alongside signs of a slowdown in economic activity will prompt the FOMC to shift back to 25bp hikes by the fall.

18 May 2022

US Data Response

Industrial Production (Apr.)

The 0.8% rise in manufacturing output last month underlines that it is not just consumer spending powering the economy forward. While the survey evidence suggests global manufacturing demand is cooling, the gradual easing of input shortages over recent months is helping to keep output growth strong.

17 May 2022

More from Andrew Hunter

US Economics Update

Surveys suggest labour shortages persist

In contrast to the stronger payrolls figures released last week, the latest survey data suggest that labour shortages remain acute. That supports our view that the acceleration in employment growth in June probably wasn’t a sign of things to come and suggests that wage growth is set for a further acceleration.

7 July 2021

US Economics Weekly

Stronger payrolls intensify focus on tapering

We aren’t convinced that it will mark the start of a sustained acceleration, but the stronger gain in June payrolls will embolden those Fed officials calling for an earlier end to the Fed’s asset purchases.

2 July 2021

US Data Response

Employment Report (Jun.)

The stronger 850,000 rise in non-farm payrolls in June may be a sign that some of the temporary labour shortages holding back the employment recovery are starting to ease. But with the labour force rising by just 151,000 and still more than three million below its pre-pandemic peak, we aren’t entirely convinced that this is the start of a much stronger trend.

2 July 2021
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