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Fake-steady U.S. economy deters interest rate cuts – What to expect

U.S. economy

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TL;DR

  • Economic analysts have raised their 2024 growth forecasts for the US economy to 2%, double the pace expected at 2023’s end.
  • The Federal Reserve is anticipated to begin cutting interest rates in mid-2024, with fewer cuts expected than initially forecasted.
  • Despite a drop in inflation, the Fed is cautious about reducing rates too quickly, aiming to ensure inflation steadily approaches their 2% target.

Today’s financial news zeroes in on the Federal Reserve and the U.S. economy’s resilience, sparking a wave of revised economic forecasts and reshaping expectations for interest rate policies in the near future. Experts, having digested recent data, project a brighter path ahead, suggesting a more robust economic performance than previously anticipated, which might influence the timing and scale of the Fed’s monetary adjustments.

Economic forecasters, who keep a close eye on growth patterns and market dynamics, have revised their expectations upwards for the U.S. economy’s performance this year. Initially cautious, their outlook has shifted significantly following strong economic indicators in the latter part of 2023 and into the early months of this year. The labor market’s durability, in particular, has served as a cornerstone of this optimism, with January’s figures underscoring the economy’s tenacity.

Gregory Daco, a leading economist, highlights the U.S. economy’s dynamic role as a global growth driver, despite facing various challenges. His upgraded forecast from 1.8% to 2.2% growth for 2024 exemplifies a broader confidence among his peers, who now largely expect a GDP expansion of around 2% for the year—doubling the pace predicted as 2023 wound down.

This revised economic forecast has inevitably impacted expectations around the Federal Reserve’s interest rate policies. The consensus among analysts has shifted, now predicting the Fed’s first rate reduction to occur mid-year, with several small adjustments expected by year’s end. This marks a significant change from earlier predictions of more aggressive cuts starting much sooner.

However, this improved economic forecast presents a double-edged sword for the current administration. A strong economy under President Joe Biden’s leadership shows that policies are working, but it also makes things more difficult for the Federal Reserve. In order to control inflation, the central bank may feel forced to keep interest rates high for a long time. This will have a secondary effect on how much it costs people to borrow money.

Fed Chair Jay Powell is scheduled to meet with lawmakers. During these meetings, he is likely to stress the need to be careful when reducing interest rates. The goal is to make sure that inflation goals are met in a way that can be maintained before lowering interest rates, even though inflation has gone down a lot since its peak in 2022.

Analysts like Ellen Zentner and Torsten Sløk suggest that the economy’s strength could prompt the Fed to postpone rate cuts, possibly until the end of the year. This perspective is partly based on the market’s ability to adjust capital costs independently, potentially delaying the Fed’s need to intervene.

Consumer spending habits play a critical role in this economic endurance, with signs indicating a continued willingness to spend. This consumer confidence, supported by a strong jobs market, fuels optimism for sustained economic growth, according to Satyam Panday of S&P Global Ratings, who now anticipates a 2.4% growth rate for the year.

Jerome Powell, in communications with Congress, reiterated a cautious stance towards reducing interest rates. This reflects a broader sentiment within the Fed, emphasizing the need for clear evidence of progress towards inflation targets before considering policy easing.

Despite inflation’s slow retreat and a robust demand for labor, Fed officials stress the importance of a measured approach to rate adjustments. This strategy aims to balance the risks of reigniting inflation against the potential economic slowdown due to prolonged high borrowing costs.

During these talks, some Democratic politicians say that rate cuts are needed right away because high rates hurt small businesses and make it hard for people to afford to buy homes. These worries show how tricky it will be for the Federal Reserve to keep the economy growing while also making sure prices stay stable over the long term in the coming months.

Disclaimer: The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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Jai Hamid

Jai Hamid is a passionate writer with a keen interest in blockchain technology, the global economy, and literature. She dedicates most of her time to exploring the transformative potential of crypto and the dynamics of worldwide economic trends.

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