Fed chairman Jerome Powell warned markets yesterday that the central bank cannot promise a soft landing. The Fed is fighting to get inflation under control and back down to its 2% target while minimizing the impact of tightening on the economy, a so-called soft landing. However, with inflation running well above target the Fed has had to become more aggressive in its efforts, using larger .5% hikes.
Looking ahead, Powell said that whether the Fed can avoid a hard landing might come down to factors beyond its control. Commenting on this, Powell noted: “What we can control is demand, we can’t really affect supply with our policies. And supply is a big part of the story here. But more than that, there are huge events, geopolitical events going on around the world, that are going to play a very important role in the economy in the next year or so. So the question whether we can execute a soft landing or not, it may actually depend on factors that we don’t control.”
Powell’s interview with Marketplace, published yesterday, comes as the Fed chairman was confirmed for a second term as leader of the US central bank. Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the interview was Powell’s response to questions over larger .75% hikes. With .5% hikes at June and July priced in, Powell noted spoke of incoming data and events saying that “If they come in worse than when we expect, then we’re prepared to do more”, opening the way for larger hikes if necessary.
The Dollar Index is currently testing the upper limit of the bull channel, with price currently holding above the broken 104.03 level resistance. While above here, and with both MACD and RSI still bullish, the focus is on a further push higher towards 105.70. However, worth noting strong bearish divergence here which raises risks for a correction lower near term.