Pro Perspectives 8/30/23





Please add to your safe senders list or address book to ensure delivery.

August 30, 2023

We'll see the latest reading on the Fed's favored inflation gauge tomorrow. 
It's likely to tick up, but remain in the low 4s (year-over-year percent change). 
Importantly, as you can see in the chart below, the Fed's target rate is well above inflation. 
As we've discussed many times, this dynamic of getting the Fed Funds rate (short term rates) above the rate of inflation has historically been the formula for putting downward pressure on inflation.  And the Fed has built in plenty of cushion, to the tune of over 100 basis points.
So the Fed has its foot on the brake
Moreover, the market is pricing in about a coin flips chance for another quarter point hike by the end of the year.  And that expectation has been set by a combination of the Fed's formal rate projections, along with the persistent jawboning we hear from Fed officials about "keeping at it" until they get inflation down to 2%.
That manipulation of expectations serves as more foot pressure on the brake (by design).
That said, the Fed is supposed to be "watching the data" for their guide on next steps.  And much of the data has been falling into their comfort zone. 
So, what gives? 
Remember, loads of government spending is still yet to be deployed. With rates well above inflation at the moment, and a hawkish posture, the Fed has built in some "insurance."