June 2023 – Market Update
Year-over-year inflation has improved in each of the last 11 months.
While prices are still increasing faster than the Fed is comfortable with, as headline prices rose 4.0% over the last year through May, the rate of those increases continues to come down1. Core inflation, which excludes the volatile food and energy components, rose by 5.3%, marking the slowest rate since December 2021. Although the significant improvement in headline inflation provides some flexibility for the Federal Reserve, stubborn core inflation may significantly push out any easing the Fed may have been previously debating. While the progress is positive, persistently higher prices will continue to exert pressure on both the economy and consumers.
A day after the release of the inflation report, the Federal Reserve held interest rates steady, a first after 10 consecutive rate hikes. The bigger news came from the Fed’s commentary, which indicates a more hawkish stance on interest rates than previously anticipated. Earlier this year, market discussions revolved around when the Fed would begin easing its policy stance and cutting rates in the second half of the year. However, Fed Chair Powell stated during the press conference that rate cuts are “a couple years out.” Additionally, a majority of the committee expects at least two more 25 basis point rate hikes this year2, contrary to last month’s indication that the Fed was finished with rate hikes. Despite these comments, the Fed Fund futures market still assigns significant probabilities to rate cuts early next year3.
The bottom line: Recent comments and data releases from the Federal Reserve indicate their intention to reshape market expectations for the remainder of this year and into 2024. However, it’s not clear that the market fully believes the Fed and is still placing significant odds that rates will be lower, by this time next year, than they are today3. If the Fed is indeed going to be in a more aggressive stance for longer, that can create headwinds for the overall economy. However, if the market is right and the Fed begins to ease next year, it may increase the odds of a soft landing. Regardless, the changing expectations surrounding the Fed can introduce volatility in capital markets, making upcoming inflation reports crucial in assessing how the Fed will adjust or maintain its current tone.
Investment advisory services provided by NewEdge Advisors, LLC doing business as Tempus Advisory Group, as a registered Investment Adviser. NewEdge Advisors, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of NewEdge Capital Group, LLC.This information should not be duplicated or distributed unless an express written consent is obtained from Tempus Advisory Group in advance. The views expressed here reflect the views of the Tempus Advisory Group Investment Committee as of 6-15-2023. These views may change as market or other conditions change. This information is not intended to provide investment advice and does not account for individual investor circumstances. Investment decisions should always be made based on an investor’s specific financial needs, objectives, goals, time horizon and risk tolerance. Past performance does not guarantee future results and no forecast should be considered a guarantee either.