With less than a week to go before the US Federal Reserve announces its next interest rate decision, Wall Street has reviewed a bevy of economic indicators released this week, according to a media report.
That data indicates that the Federal Reserve is still likely to hold rates steady next week, some investors say. But they add that there are pockets of strength in the economy that suggest markets don’t have the all-clear, CNN reported.
While inflation is much lower than it was last year, it remains far above the Fed’s 2 per cent target, which Chair Jerome Powell reaffirmed last month at the central bank’s annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Traders see a roughly 97 per cent chance that the central bank keeps rates unchanged in September, according to the CME FedWatch Tool. But they remain split on whether the Fed will continue to hold rates steady or hike more for the rest of the year, CNN reported.
“Whether rates remain higher for longer, or the inflation target becomes more flexible, the bottom line is that costs are still high, still rising, and still a problem,” said Liz Young, head of investment strategy at SoFi, in a blog post on Thursday.
US inflation climbed 3.7 per cent in August from the prior year, marking an acceleration for the second consecutive month, according to the latest Consumer Price Index. Prices increased 0.6 per cent month-over-month compared to a 0.2 per cent increase in July.
Core inflation, which does not account for volatile food and energy prices, continued to decelerate.
“Ultimately, this release showed that there is still real work to be done to get inflation back to the Fed’s 2 per cent target,” said Sam Millette, fixed income strategist at Commonwealth Financial Network, CNN reported.