Read the highlights of this week’s commentary from Helios:
- The Fed increased rates by another 25 basis points, raising the policy rate to 4.75% – 5.00% and making it the ninth consecutive rate increase. The move brings rates to their highest since 2007.
- In the press conference following the decision, Powell commented on the recent bank stresses and that it caused the committee to debate pausing further rate hikes. However, the ending vote was unanimous for a 25 basis point hike. The language shift may indicate the Fed is trying to expand its room to maneuver in the next few meetings if the turmoil in global banking doesn’t subside.
- Durable goods orders declined 1.0% in February following January’s 5.0% decline. Transportation orders fell significantly, while orders excluding transportation were flat for the month. Overall economic concerns appear to be holding back businesses’ appetite for non-critical investment.
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