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    Philly Fed President: One Rate Cut ‘Appropriate’ in 2024 if Data Holds

    One reduction in the benchmark interest rate would be “appropriate” by the end of the year so long as current data pointing to a slowdown in inflation holds steady, a Federal Reserve official said Monday.

    Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Patrick Harker also cautioned in a speech that the Fed was still “surrounded by an air soaked with uncertainty” when it comes to predicting where inflation is heading, Reuters reported.

    “If all of it happens to be as forecasted, I think one rate cut would be appropriate by year’s end,” Harker said at the 42nd annual Monetary and Trade Conference in Philadelphia.

    Gold and silver, which saw a sluggish start to the day, both continued their slump in Monday afternoon trading. Gold was down $11.83 at $2,317 per ounce, while silver dipped $0.13 to $29.37 per ounce.

    Citing the economic uncertainty, Harker defended last week’s unanimous decision by the U.S. central bank to keep interest rates unchanged at 5.25%-5.50%, while signaling one rate cut was possible by the end of 2024. Earlier, federal banking officials projected three rate cuts this year, but data showing the U.S. wasn’t closing in on the Fed’s 2% inflation target as quickly as hoped junked those plans. Investors have now pinned hopes on any cut to come by September.

    Although he called the decline in May’s Consumer Price Index “very welcome” news, Harker said more data showing a prolonged weakening of inflation was needed before any decision on rate reductions could be made. Harker predicted above-average economic growth, a small rise in unemployment and a “long glide” toward the Fed’s target inflation benchmark for the rest of the year.

    He also appeared to leave the door open for additional adjustments this year if warranted, which could act as a double-edged sword if economic conditions take a turn for the worst in the final two quarters of 2024.

    “I see two cuts, or none, for this year as quite possible if the data break one way or another,” he said. “We will remain data dependent.”

    Harker was the first of seven Federal Reserve officials scheduled to speak throughout the week, and Wall Street hopes to mine their remarks for the timing and size of future interest rate trims.

    Disclaimer: All Market Updates are provided as a third party analysis and do not necessarily reflect the explicit views of JM Bullion Inc. and should not be construed as financial advice.

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