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Time to tighten

| Posted by: Paul Donovan | Tags: Paul Donovan

  • It is time to tighten. The US Federal Reserve is expected to raise rates a quarter point. Every competent economist expects this. The Fed does not surprise markets. Adjusting for inflation, fed funds after an increase will still be around zero or negative (depending on the inflation measure).
  • The question for markets, as ever, is "what next?". The consensus still looks for the hike, pause, hike, pause rhythm to continue, which implies another rate hike in December. However, the threat of economic damage from the trade tax increases does add uncertainty to this outlook.
  • In between cracking jokes, US President Trump's UN address attacked OPEC and oil prices. Higher oil prices reflect the loss of Iranian supply when US sanctions are imposed in November. US consumers notice the rise in oil prices; they are reminded every time they fill the family fleet of sports utility vehicles.
  • UK Prime Minister May will give a speech in New York on trade – it is unlikely that the prime minister will tell jokes (it is difficult to be funny about the interminably tedious process of leaving the EU). Meanwhile, German Chancellor Merkel suffered a defeat in a significant vote within the governing CDU.