It has been a relatively quiet week in terms of economic data. The market is gradually warming up to the idea of another Fed rate hike before the year’s end, with Fed Futures prices indicating a 40% chance as of Tuesday. PMI figures earlier this week were weaker than anticipated in both Europe and the United States, signaling the possibility of an economic contraction on the horizon. However, shortly thereafter, Initial Jobless Claims were released, displaying yet another soft figure, which in turn signals a labor market continues to be strong.
The focal point of this week was Jerome Powell’s speech Friday morning at the Jackson Hole symposium. The Federal Reserve Chair believes the economy hasn’t cooled as expected. He stated, “We are prepared to raise rates further if appropriate and intend to hold policy at a restrictive level until we are confident that inflation is moving sustainably down toward our objective.”