Display mode (Doesn't show in master page preview)

8 Dec 2023

International Economy

FOMC Meeting, December 12-13, 2023: Fed likely to hold its policy rate steady at 5.25-5.50 percent (Business Brief No.4028)


        At the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting slated for December 12-13, 2023, the US Federal Reserve (Fed) is set to keep its policy rate unchanged at 5.25-5.50 percent as US inflation has fallen more than expected while the US labor market has shown signs of a slowdown. Even though US inflation remains well above the Fed’s target of 2.0 percent, a gradual decline in inflation coupled with a drop in retail sales and consumer spending have helped ease concerns about inflationary pressure in the US. Meanwhile, the labor market has begun to lose momentum and returned to a more typical level. Looking ahead, it is expected that the Fed will maintain a cautious view towards its monetary policy implementation. The FOMC may need to weigh persistently high inflationary pressure against the risk of a sluggish economy going forward.

        In addition, at the FOMC meeting, the Fed will release economic projections and interest rate forecasts (Fed Dot Plot), which are key issues to be monitored. Most markets see a possibility that the Fed might have less aggressive stance in its interest rate forecasts for 2024 compared to an earlier projection, as the US economy is expected to slow significantly next year. However, amid persistently high inflation and a robust if slowing labor market, KResearch expects the Fed to stay cautious and not send a strong signal about future policy rate cuts even as markets seem to anticipate significant interest rate reduction. We at KResearch view that the Fed might start to cut rates in the second quarter of 2024 at the earliest. The Committee would expect to see improved inflation and employment figures to ensure that the inflation will return to and remain within the target.

        Amid uncertainty about the timing of the Fed’s policy rate cuts, the Baht is likely to remain volatile going forward. If the Fed holds its policy rate steady longer than expected, the Thai Baht could face pressure from the strengthening US Dollar.

International Economy