Charting the Fed’s Course: Facilitating Hot Economic Expansion

Important Insights for the U.S. Trading Day

Today’s focus centers on the release of the consumer price index by the Labor Department at 8:30 a.m. Eastern, amidst ongoing discussions about potential Fed rate adjustments.

A thought-provoking perspective is emerging suggesting that illegal immigration could be playing a significant role in sustaining economic robustness while curbing inflation.

Wendy Edelberg and Tara Watson, associated with The Brookings Institution, are set to publish a paper supporting this argument. They analyze recent Congressional Budget Office data, highlighting a notable shift in population demographics, particularly among “other nonimmigrants.”

This category encompasses individuals not classified as lawful permanent residents or temporary visa holders, including asylum seekers and those granted humanitarian parole. Edelberg and Watson identify these individuals as “likely stayers” who contribute to the economy.

Before the pandemic, sustainable job growth without inflating prices ranged between 60,000 and 140,000 jobs per month, projected to decrease due to demographic changes. However, the authors suggest that the economy could have absorbed significantly more jobs last year without triggering inflation, and continues to have room for additional job growth.

The anticipated impact on the economy includes a modest increase in GDP and significant boosts to consumer spending and personal income, adjusted for inflation.

Gerard MacDonell of Front Harbor Macro Research views the forthcoming paper as having a mildly optimistic stance. He suggests that if potential GDP growth is higher and the limit on employment growth is raised, recent economic strength becomes less concerning. However, market implications may not be dramatic, as investors remain cautious about the extent of employment growth exceeding its limits.

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