After a difficult 2023, the US Dollar Index has strengthened again as Wall Street accepts that interest rate cuts may not come as soon as expected. The greenback has seen a 2.8% increase for the year, as of Friday morning. Despite declining in November, which resulted in the US currency ending the year lower against the basket of currencies, investors grew optimistic that the Federal Reserve would soon cut interest rates. However, Fed Chair Jerome Powell expressed in January that interest rate cuts are unlikely to begin in March, despite widespread belief that they would.
Recent economic data points to the notion that the Fed will keep rates higher for longer. An impressive 353,000 jobs were added to the economy in January, highlighting the labor market’s continued resilience despite elevated rates. The Consumer Price Index rose 3.4% annually in December, remaining above the central bank’s 2% target. A stronger dollar is detrimental for American companies but can result in US companies and consumers spending less for imported goods when traveling abroad.
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