Fed Chair Powell Forecasts Potential Rate Cuts in 2024 Amid Inflation Evaluation

Stay informed on potential rate cuts in 2024 as Fed Chair Powell evaluates inflation. Discover the latest insights and updates on economic policies

Mar 6, 2024 - 08:46
Mar 6, 2024 - 08:46
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Fed Chair Powell Forecasts Potential Rate Cuts in 2024 Amid Inflation Evaluation
Fed Chair Powell Forecasts Potential Rate Cuts in 2024 Amid Inflation Evaluation

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is set to convey to House lawmakers on Wednesday that interest rate reductions are likely "at some point" during 2024, emphasizing the Fed's cautious approach in assessing whether inflation is moderating appropriately.

In his prepared remarks to the House Financial Services Committee, Powell stated, "If the economy evolves broadly as expected, it will likely be appropriate to begin dialing back policy restraint at some point this year." He added that the Fed's rate-setting committee does not foresee reducing the target range until it has gained greater confidence in inflation moving sustainably toward the Fed’s 2% goal.

Powell's testimony precedes the central bank’s upcoming policy meeting, where officials are anticipated to maintain rates for the fifth consecutive session, following the last rate hike in July 2023.

While Powell previously hinted at rate cuts in 2024, recent cautionary statements from him and other Fed officials have tempered expectations for imminent monetary easing. This shift comes amidst higher-than-expected inflation readings and robust job figures in the early months of the year.

Notably, both the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the Producer Price Index (PPI) surpassed economists' forecasts in January, while the core Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) index recorded its largest monthly increase since January 2023.

Despite the optimism surrounding potential rate cuts, Powell underscored the Fed's dilemma in his prepared remarks, highlighting the risk of premature easing undermining progress in curbing inflation. However, prolonged high rates could also hinder economic growth.

Investors, closely monitoring the Fed's cautious stance, have adjusted their expectations, anticipating the first rate cut in June instead of March, with three cuts projected for the year. Nevertheless, uncertainties persist, and the timeline for rate adjustments may be subject to further revisions based on inflation trends and labor market performance.

Also Read: US Economic Growth at 3.2% in Q4, Slightly Lower than Initial Estimates

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