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Have Rates Improved Too Quickly And Is The Fed Being Rational?

The astonishing pace of the recent drop in interest rates has raised some questions regarding sustainability and justification, but we can clear them up with a single chart. The Federal Reserve doesn’t ultimately dictate rate levels, but it has a huge impact on how rates move.  The Fed has been credited with fueling the improvements of the past 2 months, but it’s important to remember that credit couldn’t be given without justification from economic data. Inflation is the most important part of the Fed’s “mandate” (a fancy word for job description).  Before we get to the chart that explains it all, let’s take a look at a chart that adds to the confusion.  It’s often repeated that Core year-over-year PCE is the Fed’s preferred metric for tracking the 2% inflation target.  Here’s how it looks after the most recent update this week: If this were the only way to view inflation, certainly the Fed would not yet be justified in cutting rates.  To be fair, the Fed is not cutting rates.  They are merely beginning to discuss what rate cut timing might look like if that line continues to fall as expected.   Still, some pundits say it’s too soon.  The counterpoint is that year-over-year inflation numbers include many past months with much higher inflation, and those months are no longer indicative of current price patterns.  Fortunately, we have month-over-month charts as well, and they tell a different story.
Source: mortgagenewsdaily.comNew feed

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