After a disappointing 2022, investors searched for rays of economic sunshine in January. And they got what they wanted when new data showed cooling inflation and better than expected growth in the final quarter of 2022, despite the pressure of high interest rates and widespread fears of a looming recession.
The news drove markets higher on hopes that the Federal Reserve would scale back or end interest rate increases earlier than expected. Not so fast, warned Chairman Jay Powell, noting that the Fed is still very much in a wait-and-see mode and willing to move aggressively if needed. Still, there’s reason to cheer declining inflation and rising rates. We’ll offer our perspective following a look at January numbers.