January 20, 2023
Fed Set to Slow Rate Hikes Again and Debate How Much Further to Go
Federal Reserve officials, heartened by an inflation slowdown, are poised to slow the pace of their interest-rate hikes for a second straight meeting and debate how much more they need to tighten to get prices under control.
Their campaign — which came too late, some critics argue — seems to be paying off, with a slew of data across the economy indicating that inflation is finally decelerating, a year after Chair Jerome Powell and colleagues incorrectly predicted it would soon fade. Still, a persistently tight labor market with unemployment at a five-decade low means policymakers aren’t ready to declare victory.
ECB’s Lagarde Says ‘Stay the Course’ Is Her Policy Mantra
European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said policymakers mustn’t let up in their battle with inflation — even as the spike in prices appears to have peaked.
“We have to also stay that course of resilience that we observed in 2022,” Lagarde told a panel Friday at Davos. “‘Stay the course’ is my mantra for monetary-policy purposes.”
China Stocks Near Bull Market Ahead of Lunar New Year Holidays
China’s equity benchmark ended little shy of a bull market heading into a weeklong break, as foreign investors continued to buy local shares on the back of the nation’s economic reopening and pro-growth policies.
The CSI 300 Index rose 0.6% on Friday, capping a fourth straight week of gains. The gauge has surged a little more than 19% from an Oct. 31 low, led by consumer stocks and financials, as investors bet on an outburst of retail spending and improved business environment following President Xi Jinping’s moves to exit Covid Zero and focus on growth.
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