Week of January 30, 2023, in Review
The Fed hiked its benchmark Fed Funds Rate, while there’s more to January’s job data than the headlines suggest. Plus, find out what the latest news on home price appreciation really means, all ahead in these stories:
- Are More Fed Rate Hikes Ahead This Year?
- January Job Growth Not as Strong as It Appears
- Private Payrolls Disappoint in January
- Jobless Claims Reflect Tight Labor Market
- Talk of Housing Crash Not Supported by Appreciation Data
Are More Fed Rate Hikes Ahead This Year?
As expected, the Fed hiked its benchmark Fed Funds Rate by 25 basis points at its meeting last Wednesday. The Fed has now hiked the Fed Funds Rate eight times since last March, bringing it to a range of 4.5% to 4.75%. The Fed Funds Rate is the interest rate for overnight borrowing for banks and it is not the same as mortgage rates. When the Fed hikes the Fed Funds Rate, they are trying to slow the economy and curb inflation.
What’s the bottom line? In the press conference following the meeting, Fed Chair Jerome Powell acknowledged that inflation has been declining, which he noted was encouraging. However, he said the Fed has more work to do to ensure inflation is on a sustained downward path.
Powell signaled that “a couple” more hikes to the Fed Funds Rate would be appropriate, with the next decision coming at their meeting on March 21-22. He emphasized that the Fed would continue to make their “decisions meeting by meeting, taking into account the totality of incoming data and their implications for the outlook for economic activity and inflation.”