Upcoming Events in the Economic Calendar

Powell's Testimony before Congress

Wednesday, Thursday at 10:00 a.m. Eastern

As economists and investors eagerly await key economic data releases, all eyes are on Fed Chairman Jerome Powell as he testifies before Congress for two consecutive days. The Fed has been emphasizing patience regarding potential interest-rate cuts, with Fed Gov. Christopher Waller questioning the need for rushed decisions.

Big Week for Economic Updates

Senate Democrats Pushing for Rate Cuts

Senate Democrats have been vocal about their desire for a rate cut, citing concerns about the impact of tight monetary policy on the housing market. As the November elections approach, Democrats are keen on stimulating the economy, while Republicans emphasize the importance of combating inflation. The Fed's actions will undoubtedly be viewed through a political lens during this crucial time.

Labor Market Expectations

February Job Report

Friday at 8:30 a.m. Eastern

Economists anticipate a slowdown in the labor market after two robust months of job gains. With an average of 268,000 new jobs added per month in December and January, the upcoming job report will provide insights into the current state of employment in the country.

Economists Predict 210,000 New Jobs in February

Economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal anticipate the economy will add 210,000 jobs in February. The unemployment rate is expected to hold steady at 3.7%, maintaining levels nearly as low as in the last 50 years. Average hourly wages are projected to moderate with a 0.2% gain compared to the previous month's robust 0.6% rise.

Signs of a Resilient Labor Market

"Even though we expect job growth to cool in February, we still observe various indicators signaling the strength of the labor market," mentioned Feroli of JPMorgan.

Q1 GDP Tracking Update

Data to be Officially Released in April

Economists are revising their forecasts for first-quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) following recent data releases.

  • Michael Feroli from JP Morgan Chase now predicts a 2.25% growth rate for the January-March quarter, up from his initial forecast of 1.7%.
  • Aichi Amemiya of Nomura Securities has increased his tracking estimate to 2.2% from 2.1%.
  • The Atlanta Fed's GDPNow estimate currently stands at 2.1%, a decrease from the previous 3% estimate.

The government revised its fourth-quarter growth estimate to 3.2% from 3.3%. Official first-quarter GDP figures are scheduled for release on April 25.

According to Scott Anderson, chief U.S. economist at BMO, the economy is still poised in the soft landing zone.

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