On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve emerged from its burrow, saw an economy that was running too hot and went back down for a nap -- until after the March meeting. Chair Powell used his words and noted that an ease in March was not likely nor the base case. The subsequent boom in the Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow to 4.2% on the stronger than expected PMI report – and the stunning 353,000 new jobs in January -- sealed the deal. The market has capitulated on the March hike, with now less than a 25% chance priced in, but they remain (overly) hopeful, with a 90% chance for May. Given the May decision comes on the 1st, just after the initial estimate of Q1 growth – which is running red hot – will be announced, we suspect that June is the earliest possible move down. Indeed, given our strengthening expectation that 2024 will enjoy a global manufacturing upturn, it is quite possible that the Fed does not ease at all until after the election.
Weekly Economic Report 2.2.24
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