The Fed is expected to cut interest rates for the first time in more than a decade next week, a pre-emptive move as concerns rise about the impact of the trade wars and a slowing global economy.
CNBC reported that Friday’s (July 26) July jobs report should show that the U.S. economy is still strong, with 170,000 nonfarm payrolls being added and an extremely low unemployment rate of 3.7%, according to Refinitiv. That follows this past Friday’s report of second-quarter GDP, which grew at a better than expected 2.1% but showed clear signs of impact from tariffs and trade friction.
It will be the Fed though that will likely have the most market impact, and strategists are looking for the central bank to signal it is open to future cuts but not necessarily promising them. Economists mostly expect anywhere from one to three rate cuts this year, but there is near consensus that this first cut will be a quarter percentage point.
“The market is pricing in a 25 basis point cut,” said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist with Prudential Financial. “We already know of two Fed presidents who don’t think we need it, so there’s obviously going to be a discussion, with the strong data. The chairman, who is in the camp that we need to have an insurance cut, is going to make the case that while the economic data are all gaining strength, they are still worried about weakening conditions, due to uncertainty regarding trade and tariffs.”
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