Jerome Powell is set to appear in his semi-annual Humphrey Hawkins appearances on Tuesday and Wednesday, starting with the Senate. However the text of the comments are often released the evening before the appearance, which would be today sometime after the equity market close.
If so, watch for his comments to mirror the weekend speech from the Fed’s Daly who said:
- Further policy tightening, maintained for a longer term, will likely be necessary
- I am beginning to think the labor market has a shortage of workers
- Anecdotes from business leaders suggest inflation is slowing more than recent data suggests
He could also touch on the same points as Thursday’s speech from Fed governor Waller who said:
- “Recent data indicate we haven’t made as much progress as thought”
- Fed may need to raise rates beyond December’s ‘central tendency’ view
of 5.1-5.4% if incoming job and inflation data does not pull back
from strong readings for January
- Some reasons for
optimism, such as sharp deceleration in rent increases
- It may be that last
month’s data releases ‘were a blip’ and coming data will show
activity and inflation resumed their decline
Both speakers put a heavy emphasis on upcoming data before the March 22 FOMC, which will include non-farm payrolls this Friday and CPI numbers March 14. The problem is the Fed’s blackout period begins at midnight on Friday so it will be tough for policymakers to communicate how those numbers changed the state of play.