This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 10 November 2022

By: Taro Chellaram /Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report/Nov 11, 2022

This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 10 November 2022

There was some clear relief in consumer inflation in October, which is a welcome development for households and policymakers alike. The headline consumer price index rose "just" 0.4% during the month, which was below the Bloomberg consensus expectation for a 0.6% gain and caused the yearago pace to fall back to 7.7%, or the lowest annual rate of inflation in nine months (chart). Core prices also rose a more muted 0.3% during the month as core goods prices declined 0.4% amid an easing in supply chain constraints, which have boosted retail inventories. Core services prices rose 0.5% during the month, which is still quite fast compared to the pre-pandemic run rate but a bit softer than we anticipated.

Overall, October's moderation in inflation is welcome, but with the core CPI up at an annualized rate of 5.8% between July and October, there remains a long way to go before inflation returns to a rate the Fed will tolerate. The way back down to the Committee's 2% inflation goal will also likely be bumpy with services inflation particularly difficult to stomp out. The October CPI report reduced the likelihood of another 75 bps rate hike in December, but we expect policymakers to remain biased toward overtightening rather than under-tightening for the foreseeable future.

The FOMC noted for the first time it will consider the cumulative degree of tightening and the lags inherent in monetary policy when deciding on future rate moves at its November policy meeting. Chair Powell also emphasized the Committee is not done tightening yet. We take this communication and the lower-than-expected gain in inflation as evidence that the Fed will continue to hike rates, but at a slower pace, and we forecast the FOMC will hike the federal funds rate by 50 bps at its next monetary policy meeting.




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