The EUR/USD pair is making gains, approaching multi-month highs around 1.0960, driven by a weakened USD and Christine Lagarde's somewhat hawkish remarks before the European Parliament. Minor housing data from the U.S., specifically New Home Sales for October, came in below expectations but didn't significantly impact the pair. Lagarde, President of the...
How is a Slowdown in US Economy a Good Thing?
2022-08-01 • Updated
The bad news is that the US economy slowed for the second consecutive quarter in 2022, entering a technical recession. That's two consecutive quarters of gross domestic product (GDP) contraction. However, the good news is a slowing economy may be what the US needs to win its fight against inflation.
As the US economy reopens to recovery from the pandemic, economic growth rebounded fiercely, supported by consumers spending their savings and the stimulus that was pumped into the markets. But this insane support has driven prices so strongly that inflation got out of control (9.1%, the highest in 40 years), with strong demand and modest supply.
Were the Fed's rate hikes helpful in dampening demand?
The Fed's intervention to bring inflation back to its 2% target, after raising interest rates four times since March 2022, two of them in a row by 75 basis points, is reflected now in the economy. While the US central bank relies on its favorite tool - the interest rate - to cool demand and inflation by making borrowing more expensive, it risks plunging the economy into a recession.
It seems that the sharp rate hikes are starting to show their results. The US economy contracted by 0.9% in the second consecutive quarter, reflecting the economy's weakness with slowing consumer spending amid rising prices, declining investment and economic activity, and a damp housing market. The Fed wants to see demand fall for "a sustained period" to give inflation a chance to come down without entering a deep recession, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said.
While Powell thinks the US economy isn't in a recession right now, he admitted that the economy is slowing and will likely need to slow more to bring inflation back to earth. The Federal Reserve said it wouldn't be easy in its fight against the highest inflation in 40 years, even if it means a shrinking economy and a slowing job market.
How is a slowdown in the US economy good?
The more the economy slows down, the inflationary pressures will fall, and prices will calm down. Subsequently, this may prompt the Fed to ease the aggressive rate hikes and will head for smaller increases in the upcoming meetings. The danger is that with a shrinking economy, demand could fall so dramatically that the economy would be pushed into recession.
Will the contraction of the US economy affect the Fed's rate hikes?
We don't think the GDP decline should affect the Fed's rate hike cycle. The reason is that evidence of a slowdown has yet to appear in US employment data or a rise in layoffs, which economists also use to gauge whether a country is in a recession. The unemployment rate stabilized at 3.6%, the lowest from pre-pandemic levels.
The upcoming labor market data will be the best ground for whether we're heading into a recession or not. Jerome Powell dismissed questions about whether the US economy is in or on the cusp of a recession, arguing for the labor market's strength because US companies continue to add more than 350,000 jobs each month.
Canada's forthcoming Consumer Price Index (CPI) data, set for release on Tuesday, is projected to show a year-on-year decline in inflation to 3.2% for October from the previous 3.8%. This potential inflation dip might offer leeway for the Bank of Canada (BoC) to maintain its overnight rate target at 5.0% in the...
Speculation persists regarding the Bank of Japan's potential departure from negative interest rates, yet the USD/JPY maintains its position within a 150–152 range for seven consecutive sessions. Caution is warranted due to a weaker-than-expected Q3 GDP, a slump in imports, and...
Bitcoin's price remains stagnant despite the Fed's slightly less hawkish tone. In contrast, Bitcoin has outperformed other assets, doubling in price from $16K to nearly $38K this year. Improved fundamentals, including the resolution of Binance concerns...
Hey folks, it’s a wrap to yet another month in the 2023 calendar, and I’m guessing you know what that means - time for another episode in the “What To Trade” series. For December, I will be mapping out trade more cautiously as the market volatility often drops
Gold prices, reaching the highest since May 5, are consolidating as traders await the US PCE Price Index, a key inflation indicator. The upcoming data could impact the Fed's policy, influencing the demand for the US Dollar and providing direction for gold. The Greenback sees some repositioning, recovering modestly ahead of the data risk.