Last week’s employment report showed that the US economy created 263,000 jobs in the month of September and that the unemployment rate declined from 3.7% to 3.5%. Although the labor market remains relatively strong, one recent sign of softening is a drop in the total number of job openings. Currently, there are approximately ten million job openings in the US, the lowest level since June 2021, but still elevated from a historical perspective. In the week ahead, we will be closely tracking the release of Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation data. The consensus expects inflation to decline to 8.1% from 8.3%. Alternatively, core inflation is expected to rise, which is not a trend the central bank would like to see after several rate hike cycles. The conclusion remains that the Fed needs to step harder on the brakes to cool the economy down. In that context, we are monitoring the impacts of ongoing interest rate hikes and whether they will result in a soft or hard landing.
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