Housing Markets Certainly Face Further Drop of 10%

Why US home prices will fall another 10 percent, according to Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff 

Pain across the US housing market that began last year is likely just getting started if interest rates remain high, star economist Ken Rogoff warned on Tuesday. Rogoff, a professor at Harvard University and former top economist at the International Monetary Fund, said home prices in both the US market aboard will fall “certainly another 10%” over the “couple of years.”

The economist cited the restrictive policy stances taken by the Federal Reserve and other central banks, which have caused a spike in mortgage rates and cooled demand among buyers.

“If, as I think, interest rates are going to stay high for some time to come, I think there’s still a lot of downward adjustments in the housing markets globally, not just in the United States,” Rogoff told Bloomberg Television during an appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The Federal Reserve is expected to implement more interest rate hikes early this year after a string of seven straight supercharged interests in 2022. Fed Chair Jerome Powell has signaled that rates will rise and then hover in restrictive territory until policymakers have clear evidence that inflation has cooled.

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Powell Signals Recession May Be Price to Pay for Crushing Inflation

50 basis point hike possible for May

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell affirmed the central bank’s determination to bring down inflation and said Thursday that aggressive rate hikes are possible as soon as next month.

“It is appropriate in my view to be moving a little more quickly” to raise interest rates, Powell said while part of an International Monetary Fund panel. “I also think there is something to be said for front-end loading any accommodation one thinks is appropriate. … I would say 50 basis points will be on the table for the May meeting.”

Powell’s statements essentially meet market expectations that the Fed will depart from its usual 25 basis point hikes and move more quickly to tame inflation that is running at its fastest pace in more than 40 years. A basis point equals 0.01 percentage point. However, as Powell spoke, market pricing for rate increases got somewhat more aggressive.

Expectations for a 50 basis point move in May rose to 97.6%, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch Tool. Traders also priced in an additional hike equivalent through year’s end that would take the fed funds rate, which sets the overnight borrowing level for banks but also is tied to many consumer debt instruments, to 2.75%.

https://www.cnbc.com/

Fed hikes interest rates by 0.75 percentage point

Objective: to tamp down runaway inflation without creating a recession

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday enacted its second consecutive 0.75 percentage point interest rate increase as it seeks to tamp down runaway inflation without creating a recession.

In taking the benchmark overnight borrowing rate up to a range of 2.25%-2.5%, the moves in June and July represent the most stringent consecutive action since the Fed began using the overnight funds rate as the principal tool of monetary policy in the early 1990s. While the fed funds rate most directly impacts what banks charge each other for short-term loans, it feeds into a multitude of consumer products such as adjustable mortgages, auto loans and credit cards. The increase takes the funds rate to its highest level since December 2018.

Markets largely expected the move after Fed officials telegraphed the increase in a series of statements since the June meeting. Stocks hit their highs after Fed Chair Jerome Powell left the door open about its next move at the September meeting, saying it would depend on the data. Central bankers have emphasized the importance of bringing down inflation even if it means slowing the economy.

https://www.cnbc.com/

Inflation: FED Chairman warns of ‘some pain’ ahead

The Fed will fight to bring down inflation

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell delivered a stern commitment Friday to halting inflation, warning that he expects the central bank to continue raising interest rates in a way that will cause “some pain” to the U.S. economy.

In his much-anticipated annual policy speech at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Powell affirmed that the Fed will “use our tools forcefully” to attack inflation that is still running near its highest level in more than 40 years. Even with a series of four consecutive interest rate increases totaling 2.25 percentage points, Powell said this is “no place to stop or pause” even though benchmark rates are probably around an area considered neither stimulative nor restrictive to growth. “While higher interest rates, slower growth, and softer labor market conditions will bring down inflation, they will also bring some pain to households and businesses,” he said in prepared remarks. “These are the unfortunate costs of reducing inflation. But a failure to restore price stability would mean far greater pain.”

https://www.cnbc.com/

Aiming for a ‘soft landing’

How to to cool off inflation without sinking into recession

The Federal Reserve sees several avenues to solve the problem of inflation without a recession, but none of them will be easy, Chair Jerome Powell said Tuesday.

The central bank is focused solely on a single objective: a “soft landing” for the US economy. The phrase describes the ideal scenario in which inflation returns to the Fed’s 2% target while unemployment remains low.

Yet trying to accomplish such a landing would require some careful maneuvering. Economic growth has begun to slow with the Fed raising rates, but if spending cools too quickly, companies could halt their hiring plans or even lay off employees.

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Fed raises rates by half a percentage point

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell underlined the commitment to bringing inflation down

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday raised its benchmark interest rate by half a percentage point, the most aggressive step yet in its fight against a 40-year high in inflation.

“Inflation is much too high and we understand the hardship it is causing. We’re moving expeditiously to bring it back down,” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said during a news conference, which he opened with an unusual direct address to “the American people.” He noted the burden of inflation on lower-income people, saying, “we’re strongly committed to restoring price stability.”

That likely will mean, according to the chairman’s comments, multiple 50-basis point rate hikes ahead, though likely nothing more aggressive than that.

https://www.cnbc.com/

Fed’s Powell Seals Expectations of Half-Point Rate Rise in May

Federal Reserve officials have broadly signaled a desire to raise interest rates to levels that don’t provide stimulus

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell signaled the central bank was likely to raise interest rates by a half percentage point at its meeting next month and indicated similar rate rises could be warranted after that to lower inflation.

A rate increase in May, following the Fed’s decision to lift rates from near zero by a quarter percentage point last month, would mark the first time since 2006 that the central bank increased its policy rate at back-to-back meetings. A half-point increase would be the first such move since 2000.

The Fed has indicated it will also formally announce plans at the May 3-4 meeting to begin shrinking its $9 trillion asset portfolio in June, a double-barreled effort to remove stimulus to curb price pressures that are at a four-decade high.

https://www.wsj.com/