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Bob Carey
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  US Economy and Credit Markets Ended March 4, 2022
Posted Under: Weekly Market Commentary

 
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said last week he would support a quarter-percentage-point rate hike at the Fed's upcoming meeting on March 15-16 in what will be the Fed's first rate increase since 2018. Chairman Powell also said the Fed will need to tread carefully given Russia's recent invasion of Ukraine and its uncertain impact on the U.S. economy. The comments all but end speculation that the Fed would raise interest rates by 0.50% at the March meeting, but the larger rate hike was not ruled out for future meetings if inflation doesn't come down from current four-decade highs. The jobs report released last week showed the U.S. added 678,000 jobs in February, which was well above expectations. The unemployment rate fell from 4.0% in January to 3.8% in February, which was also better than expected and is just above the 3.5% rate reached in February 2020. Both readings of the ISM Manufacturing and Non-Manufacturing Indexes continued to indicate expansion in February. Supply chain issues and labor shortages remain a headwind for both, however, amid strong demand as the economy continues to reopen. Major economic reports (related consensus forecasts, prior data) for the upcoming week include Tuesday: January Trade Balance (-$87.4b, -$80.7b), January Final Wholesale Inventories MoM (0.8%, 0.8%); Wednesday: March 4 MBA Mortgage Applications (N/A, -0.7%); Thursday: March 5 Initial Jobless Claims (220k, 215k), February CPI MoM (0.8%, 0.6%); Friday: March Preliminary U. of Mich. Sentiment (61.3, 62.8).
Posted on Monday, March 7, 2022 @ 9:22 AM • Post Link Share: 
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These posts were prepared by First Trust Advisors L.P., and reflect the current opinion of the authors. They are based upon sources and data believed to be accurate and reliable. Opinions and forward looking statements expressed are subject to change without notice. This information does not constitute a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security.
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