Investment Institute
Weekly Market Update

Take Two: Fed keeps interest rates on hold; global GDP growth expected to slow

  • 25 September 2023 (3 min read)

What do you need to know?

The Federal Reserve (Fed) left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at between 5.25% and 5.50% at its meeting last week. While officials were all in agreement to keep rates on hold, the Fed’s ‘dot plot’ – the chart of officials’ rate expectations – shows one more hike is expected this year. The Fed described recent economic activity as “solid” and noted that jobs growth had slowed but remains strong. Elsewhere, the Bank of England surprised by keeping interest rates at 5.25%, following an unexpected fall in inflation in August to 6.7% from 6.8% in July.

Around the world

Global economic growth is expected to slow to 3.0% this year from 3.3% in 2022, with stronger than expected performance in the US moderating the impacts of China’s weakening economy, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). However, this is an improvement on the 2.7% growth it forecast in June. In its Interim Economic Outlook, the OECD said it expects growth in 2024 to be 2.7% - down from its previous prediction of 2.9% - as the longer-term effects of tighter monetary policy materialise. Inflation is expected to ease throughout 2023 and 2024 but remain far above central bank objectives in most economies.

Figure in focus: 5.2%

The Eurozone’s annual inflation figure for August was revised lower to 5.2% from an initial estimate of 5.3%, after 5.3% in July. Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, said the highest contribution to price rises over the month came from services. However, core inflation, which excludes more volatile food, energy, alcohol and tobacco prices, remained in line with the flash estimate, easing to 5.3% from 5.5% in July. The European Central Bank raised its key benchmark interest rate to a record high of 4% earlier this month, aiming to return inflation to its 2% target.

Words of wisdom

Planetary boundaries: A term which defines critical processes and their limits in the maintenance of a stable and resilient Earth system. A study by a group of scientists including from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, published this month, outlines nine boundaries: Climate change; biosphere integrity; land system change; freshwater change; biogeochemical flows; ocean acidification; atmospheric aerosol loading; ozone depletion; and novel entities. Researchers revealed the Earth is beyond the “safe operating space” in six of the nine areas and pressure in all of them is increasing. However, rehabilitation is still feasible in all nine areas, the study said.

What’s coming up

On Monday, Germany releases its Ifo Business Climate index for September, a closely watched indicator of the country’s economic health. On Wednesday, the Bank of Japan publishes the minutes from its latest monetary policy meeting. On Thursday, a series of Eurozone surveys covering September are issued, including the bloc’s Economic and Industrial Sentiment measures. In addition, Germany’s preliminary estimate for September inflation is released, as well as the final estimate for US second quarter (Q2) GDP growth. On Friday, Japan reports its unemployment rate for August while the Eurozone releases its flash estimate for September inflation and the UK reports the final estimate of Q2 GDP.

Related Articles

Weekly Market Update

Take Two: US inflation rises more than expected; ECB hints it may cut rates soon

  • by AXA Investment Managers
  • 15 April 2024 (3 min read)
Weekly Market Update

Take Two: Eurozone inflation eases; Fed wants more data before rate decision

  • by AXA Investment Managers
  • 08 April 2024 (3 min read)
Weekly Market Update

Take Two: US inflation rises; Japan avoids recession as Q4 GDP revised up

  • by AXA Investment Managers
  • 18 March 2024 (3 min read)


    This website is published by AXA Investment Managers Asia (Singapore) Ltd. (Registration No. 199001714W) for general circulation and informational purposes only. It does not constitute investment research or financial analysis relating to transactions in financial instruments, nor does it constitute on the part of AXA Investment Managers or its affiliated companies an offer to buy or sell any investments, products or services, and should not be considered as solicitation or investment, legal or tax advice, a recommendation for an investment strategy or a personalized recommendation to buy or sell securities. It has been prepared without taking into account the specific personal circumstances, investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any particular person and may be subject to change without notice. Please consult your financial or other professional advisers before making any investment decision.

    Due to its simplification, this publication is partial and opinions, estimates and forecasts herein are subjective and subject to change without notice. There is no guarantee forecasts made will come to pass. Data, figures, declarations, analysis, predictions and other information in this publication is provided based on our state of knowledge at the time of creation of this publication. Whilst every care is taken, no representation or warranty (including liability towards third parties), express or implied, is made as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the information contained herein. Reliance upon information in this material is at the sole discretion of the recipient. This material does not contain sufficient information to support an investment decision.

    All investment involves risk, including the loss of capital. The value of investments and the income from them can fluctuate and investors may not get back the amount originally invested. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future performance.

    Some of the Services and/or products may not be available for offer to retail investors.

    This publication has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.