HomeFinance NewsFinanceInflation Skyrockets Again! Fed in Damage Control Mode

Inflation Skyrockets Again! Fed in Damage Control Mode


The latest consumer price index (CPI) report shows that inflation in the United States remains elevated, with the core index rising 3.8% year-over-year in March 2024.

This is higher than the 3.7% expected by economists and continues a trend of disappointing inflation readings.

Chief Market Strategist Victoria Fernandez notes that this is the third consecutive month of higher-than-expected inflation, indicating that the Federal Reserve is not seeing the consistent downward movement in inflation that it aims for.

She expects that this will lead to concerns among policymakers and could result in fewer interest rate cuts than the market had anticipated.

Greg Daco, Chief Economist, agrees that the report is somewhat disappointing and will likely increase pressure on the Fed to maintain a higher interest rate stance for longer.

However, he emphasizes that some of the price increases seen in the report, such as those in car insurance and medical services, may not reflect stronger demand and are factors the Fed does not have complete control over.

Daco adds that core goods inflation declined by 0.2% in March, indicating disinflationary pressures.

However, he cautions against overreacting to monthly data, as the early months of the year can be volatile.

He believes that the Fed is still likely to ease interest rates three times this year, but the timing may shift.

Fernandez suggests that the higher inflation could lead to higher yields on government bonds and place pressure on stock market valuations.

She recommends a cautious investment approach and diversification to mitigate potential risks.

Overall, the CPI report adds to the growing concern that inflation is proving to be more persistent than the Fed had hoped.

While disinflationary pressures are gradually emerging, the Fed may need to consider adjusting its monetary policy path and extending the period of higher interest rates.

  • Key Takeaways

Inflation remains high and above expectations

The latest CPI report shows the core index rising 3.8% year-over-year in March 2024, higher than the 3.7% expected by economists, indicating sustained inflationary pressures.

Fed may maintain tighter monetary policy

The persistently high inflation could lead to concerns among policymakers and reduce the likelihood of interest rate cuts, as the Fed aims to bring inflation under control.

Inflationary pressures vary across components

While core goods inflation declined in March, indicating disinflationary pressures, price increases in sectors like car insurance and medical services reflect factors beyond the Fed’s direct control, adding complexity to monetary policy decisions.

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