Jerome Powell & Inflation Data Set To Shake Up Markets on Holidays

While markets in the US may observe closure on Good Friday, investors remain keen on monitoring significant economic events for the week, including updates on the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge and insights into the state of the American consumer, along with remarks from central bank chief Jerome Powell.

Inflation, which has notably decelerated since its peak in mid-2022, is a key focus, with concerns arising regarding the trajectory of price pressures and borrowing costs amid the ongoing election cycle.

Economists anticipate that the personal consumption expenditures price index likely accelerated in February, driven partly by higher gasoline prices.

Fed Chair Powell is scheduled to address questions on the US economy and interest rate outlook shortly after the data release.

Despite excluding food and energy, the inflation metric is expected to remain high. Conversely, consumer spending is forecasted to have gained momentum in February, buoyed by a robust labor market and increasing incomes.

This optimism is further fueled by the upward revision of economic growth for the final quarter of 2023.

While the Fed stands prepared to support the job market if necessary, Powell’s recent comments, along with those from Fed Governor Christopher Waller, suggest a potential rate cut later in the year, albeit without immediate urgency.

In other news, various headline economic metrics for the US, including GDP and GDI, demonstrated robust advances in the fourth quarter, while consumer sentiment reached its highest level since July 2021, supported by stock market gains and easing inflation expectations.

Mortgage rates in the US have declined, contributing to improved affordability for homebuyers. (Credits: Kenny Holston)

Beyond economic updates, US ambassador to India, Eric Garcetti, expressed intentions to bolster investment from American pension funds and private equity firms in India, capitalizing on the nation’s rapid growth trajectory.

Looking ahead, key events include the release of the personal consumption expenditures price index for February, the return of the Senate on April 8 and the House on April 9, and scheduled meetings between Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. of the Philippines, and President Joe Biden at the White House on April 11.

Additionally, campaign finance reports from candidates and party committees are due at the Federal Election Committee on April 20, with the Republican convention set for July 15-18 in Milwaukee and the Democratic convention scheduled for August 19-22 in Chicago.

Josh Alba
Josh Alba
Josh Alba stands at the forefront of contemporary business journalism, his words weaving narratives that illuminate the intricate workings of the corporate world. With a keen eye for detail and a penchant for uncovering the underlying stories behind financial trends, Josh has established himself as a trusted authority in business writing. Drawing from his wealth of experience and relentless pursuit of truth, Josh delivers insights that resonate with readers across industries.
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