This just in: CEO Chris Shuba in Financial Planning

Read the highlights of this week’s commentary from Helios:

  • Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 1.6% in the first quarter of 2024, falling short of economists’ expectations for a 2.5% increase. First-quarter growth was primarily driven by gains in consumer spending and housing investment. However, personal spending, a key driver of economic growth, grew at a slower pace than anticipated.
  • The Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge, the core Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) price index, which excludes food and energy, rose 0.3% in March. The core PCE rose 2.8% year-over-year, the same as February, surpassing forecasts and fueling the ongoing concerns about persistent inflation, especially in services.
  • The latest inflation data underscores the Fed’s inclination to maintain high interest rates for a while. The Fed’s policymakers are meeting this week, and the consensus is that they will keep interest rates unchanged. Although updated projections won’t be released until June, experts anticipate a more hawkish stance from the Fed, potentially indicating fewer rate cuts for this year than originally forecasted in March.

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