Investor optimism rekindled, owing to favorable macro data and the Fed opting for a less aggressive stance to tame the stubbornly high inflation. However, January’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) slowed only slightly to a 6.4% annualized gain. CPI came in higher than the market forecast of 6.2%.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell, cautioning that it would likely be 2024 before inflation returns to the central bank’s target rate of 2%, said, “The base case for me is that it will take some time and we’ll have to do more rate increases and then have to look around and see if we’ve done enough.”
In addition, advance retail sales for the last month rose 3%, far more than the expected 1.9%, suggesting consumers’ incessant spending despite an uptick in inflation.
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