While the stock market remained under pressure last year amidst significant macroeconomic headwinds, it made a strong start to this year, amid expectations that the slowdown in inflation would prompt the Federal Reserve to pause and even cut rates sooner than expected.
However, following January’s robust labor market data, the market is fueled by tighter rate hike fears and widespread recession concerns.
Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), the biggest U.S. bank, cautioned against declaring victory against inflation too early and warned that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates above the 5% mark if higher prices ended up “sticky.”
On the other hand, Fed Governor Lisa Cook recently said, “it is appropriate to move in smaller steps while we assess the effects of our cumulative tightening in the economy and inflation.”
Cook also said the substantial job gain coupled with moderating wage growth last month had increased hopes for a “soft landing” scenario in which the central bank can tame inflation without triggering a recession.
Moreover, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) revised its global growth forecast for the year and now expects the global economy to grow 2.9% this year, a 0.2% increase from its prior projection in October.
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