Philly Hike 📈

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Philly Hike

In an address delivered in Philadelphia on Tuesday, Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Patrick Harker hinted that the central bank could be approaching the conclusion of its ongoing rate-hiking cycle. As a member of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) and a key voter on rate decisions this year, Harker highlighted the encouraging strides made in taming inflation and expressed his confidence in the overall economic trajectory. Basing his assessment on the absence of any jarring new data up until mid-September, Harker articulated that the time might be right for the Federal Reserve to adopt a more patient stance, keeping rates steady and allowing the effects of prior monetary policy measures to fully materialise. This comes as the FOMC had previously sanctioned its 11th rate hike since March 2022, propelling the Fed’s pivotal interest rate from near-zero to a notable range of 5.25% to 5.5% – its loftiest level in over two decades. While initial projections from the committee projected an additional quarter-point uptick later this year, divergent views have begun to emerge regarding the road ahead.

The financial markets have absorbed this narrative, with data from CME Group indicating a substantial 85% likelihood that the Federal Reserve will maintain its current stance during its forthcoming September 19-20 meeting. Moreover, market dynamics imply the potential for a rate reduction as early as March 2024. Harker was unequivocal about one aspect – the probability of imminent rate cuts remains low. He emphasised the need for a sustained period of stability if the conditions allow for it, while acknowledging that unforeseen events could shift this outlook. Despite this, he conveyed his anticipation for a steady economic course, underpinned by gradual inflation moderation towards the Fed’s target of 2%, a modest uptick in unemployment, and a paced growth rate that is anticipated to be slightly lower than the earlier months of 2023. As the financial markets and economic observers await the next chapter, the consensus for now appears to be one of cautious optimism, fostering hope for a measured and controlled economic evolution. What do you think about Harker’s recommendation? And do you agree?

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I am not a financial advisor and my comments should never be taken as financial advice. Investments come with risk, so always do your research and analysis beforehand.

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