The old saying is that “talk is cheap.” It certainly isn’t if you’re a central banker. Investors hang on a central banker’s every word. Whether the Federal Reserve (Fed) hikes by 75 basis points (bps; 100 bps equal 1.00%) or 50 bps is probably less relevant than what Fed officials say with their Summary of Economic Projections (their guesses about what they’ll do in the future and how the economy may evolve).
We’re discussing the upcoming July FOMC meeting, ways that investors can approach their short duration assets, and how recent economic data releases have changed the track record of Federal Reserve guidance.
When Federal Reserve (Fed) Chair Jerome Powell took the helm of the Fed in 2018, the Fed was close to the end of its rate-hiking cycle that started in December 2015. At the time, he said the Fed would be gradual with hikes. Fast-forward to January 2022, and Chair Powell dropped “gradual” in favor of being “nimble.” Then in the spring of 2022, he said the Fed would move “expeditiously” to bring down inflation.