US Inflation Data Suggests Possible Soft Landing for Economy
The US Federal Reserve, under the leadership of Jay Powell, seems to have successfully engineered a “soft landing” for the economy without plunging it into recession, a feat not accomplished in 80 years. The US Consumer Price Index dropped from 3.7% in September to 3.2% in October, and the “core” measure also fell, indicating a decrease in inflation and sparking hopes that further interest rate hikes will not be necessary. However, despite these positive economic signs, President Biden’s approval ratings remain low, with many Americans still expecting to be worse off financially in the coming year.
US Federal Reserve Achieves “Soft Landing” with Economy
Jay Powell and the US Federal Reserve seem to have achieved what was thought unfeasible just months ago – a “soft landing” for the world’s largest economy without inducing a recession.
Last year, the consumer price index (CPI) peaked at a 40-year high of 9.1% in June, but it has been decreasing slowly. Despite ongoing inflation, the Fed continued to aggressively raise its main policy rate, Fed funds.
Good News for US Economy
The strict measures seem to have paid off. Recent figures show that US inflation has decreased, sparking hopes that further interest rate hikes may not be necessary, and the central bank might soon ease monetary policy. Accordingly, the stock market reacted positively, with significant gains seen in major indices.
Once in 80 Year Achievement
If a soft landing is accomplished, it would signify a massive achievement, unmatched in 80 years. However, it is unclear whether President Biden will reap any benefits, given the current public discontent.
UK Economy in Worse Condition
Whilst UK inflation rates have also fallen, the UK economy’s status remains significantly worse than the US. Despite some similarities, such as low unemployment and wage increases, the UK economy stagnated in the recent quarter, while the US economy grew by 4.9%.
UK’s Financial Struggles
Meanwhile, the US government’s large-scale stimulus, including the injection of $369bn into the economy through the Inflation Reduction Act, is not an option for the UK. Furthermore, the UK’s investment levels are decreasing, even being surpassed by France in Europe.
Bank of England Winning Inflation Battle
Despite challenges, today’s data indicates that the Bank of England is combating inflation effectively, lowering it without causing a recession. However, if a soft landing is achieved, the US situation suggests this may not translate into political credit.
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