September 2023 FOMC Preview and Market Implications – 20 September 2023
George Goncalves, MUFG Head of U.S. Macro Strategy, returns to review the price action since the summer break and what to expect from the FOMC at the upcoming meeting. George views the current environment as the most challenging for bond bulls, as the longer the Fed stays on hold with all this additional Treasury supply hitting the market, the pull toward higher rates will remain a powerful force. Granted, George does not believe that the window that will be afforded to the Fed staying “higher for longer” will be one that is long enough to fully normalize the yield curve towards the current level of Fed funds (because we expect the policy lags to hit the economy hard in Q4 into 1Q24). That said, the Fed can still use forward guidance signals, such as keeping their rate forecast “dot-plot” higher as a counter-balance to a bond market that is always looking for the next reason to rally. In terms of the FOMC meeting, we expect a slightly hawkish outcome, where the dots will try to pave the way for the Fed to signal they want rates to stay higher. Lastly we expect no change in actual Fed rate policy, a hawkish skip (i.e. no hike at this meeting) is our base-case.