The latest economic data suggest supply challenges worsened in April. Delivery times lengthened, and while employers continued to add jobs at a solid pace, the supply of labor weakened. Price pressure has remained elevated as a result. The FOMC raised its federal funds rate 50 bps this week at the conclusion of its policy meeting, and the incoming data for April reinforce our expectation for another 50 bp hike in June.
Next week: NFIB Small Business Optimism (Tues), CPI (Wed), U. of Mich. Consumer Sentiment (Fri)
International: Reserve Bank of Australia Delivers Initial Rate Hike, BoE & BCB Continue Tightening
Faced with concerns about high inflation, multiple central banks around the world tightened monetary policy this week. Notably, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) raised its Cash Rate by 25 bps to 0.35%, citing a resilient economy with inflation that has accelerated faster and higher than previously expected, as well as progress toward full employment and wage growth. The Bank of England and Brazilian Central Bank also delivered rate hikes this week.
Next week: Mexico CPI/Banxico Rate Decision (Mon/Thu), U.K. GDP (Thu), Russia CPI (Fri)
Interest Rate Watch: The First 50 bps Rate Hike from the FOMC in 22 Years
At the conclusion of its meeting this week, the FOMC increased the target range for the federal funds rate by 50 bps to 0.75%-1.00%. The move was widely anticipated by financial market participants, but that does not diminish the fact that it was the first 50 bps rate hike from the Federal Reserve in 22 years.
Credit Market Insights: Monetary Policy Is Impacting Mortgages, Including Refinancing
Freddie Mac reported on Thursday that 30-year mortgage rates reached 5.27%, 17 bps higher than the previous week and the highest level since 2009. After more than a decade of sub-5.0% mortgage rates, the past few months of expectation setting and quantitative tightening have already affected the mortgage market.
Topic of the Week: Shining a Light on the Rising Economic Potential of AAPI Small Business
In commemoration of AAPI Heritage Month and Small Business Month, we highlighted some economic contributions of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community with a focus on AAPI-owned small businesses in a recent report.