Home Economy News Macquarie throws in towel on rate cuts this year on signs of stalling disinflation

Macquarie throws in towel on rate cuts this year on signs of stalling disinflation


Investing.com — Rate cuts in 2024 were considered a done deal by many at the turn of the year, but Macquarie has thrown in the towel on rate cuts this year, as a string of sticky inflation and strong growth data this year suggests the disinflation train is running out of steam.

“We no longer expect a rate cut in 2024,” Macquarie said in a Monday note, pushing out its first rate-cut bet to 2025 on expectations for annualized core PCE inflation to “appear to be on a path back towards 2%.”

The most recent measure of core personal consumption expenditure for March was 0.32% month-on-month, while January and February economic growth, or gross domestic product figures, were revisioned upward, Macquarie said.

The data marked a severe blow to earlier expectations that inflation would show clear signs of slowing to the Fed’s 2% target.  

“In December it had appeared that year-on-year core inflation would head into the 2.0 to 2.5% range by mid 2024, a range that would seem to support rate cuts,” Macquarie said, but “recent strong figures mean this no longer appears likely to be the case.”

Worryingly for the Fed, its super core inflation measure, or core services ex-housing rose 0.39% month-on-month , marking a “re-acceleration from January,” Macquarie added, reiterating its concern about the upside risks to inflation.

As bets on a rate cut this year continue to tumble, the Fed’s two-day meeting on Tuesday will take on added importance, with many keen to see if the central bank’s rate-setting arm, or the Federal Open Market Committee, adopt a more hawkish tone. 

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The Fed is expected to leave rates unchanged at the conclusion of its meeting Wednesday, but the monetary policy statement and the remarks from Fed chairman Jerome Powell will likely lean hawkish. 

“The statement language is likely to be altered in a hawkish direction, reflecting economic developments in recent weeks, particularly the strong inflation readings for March,” Macquarie said in a note.

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