The Fed left rates steady in the June FOMC meeting as expected and signaled they don’t anticipate any rate increases through 2022 with a quote for the ages “We’re not even thinking about thinking about rising rates.” Further, they expect to maintain the current set and pace of asset purchase programs to help bolster the economy and are studying other avenues to support it. The Fed expects a full-year economic decline to be between 4% and 10% and unemployment to remain elevated between 9% and 10% through Q4 of this year.
Capital markets had a wild rate for the week after starting reasonably quiet compared to the previous six months. Still, on Thursday, the S&P 500 fell 5.89% presumptively due to rehashed COVID fears and the Fed playing down the better than expected unemployment report last week.
Consumer sentiment increased by the most since 2016 as jobs are coming back, and states are reopening. The preliminary June figures rose 6.6 points to 78.9, beating estimates of 75. While still below pre-COVID levels, the upward movement is welcomed, despite 67% of respondents harboring concerns around a resurgence of COVID and job market weakness.
Across the pond, the UK economy fell by the most on record in the first full month of lockdown, shrinking 20.4% in April, 10x worse than the worst pre-COVID fall, and worse than the 18.4% expectation.
The June edition of the Due Diligence Podcast is now available on at heliosdriven.com/blog or your favorite podcast app!