Falling CEO confidence

Last week’s employment report revealed that the US economy created 315,000 jobs in August and that the unemployment rate increased from 3.5% to 3.7%. Overall, the employment picture remains strong, which tells us that the Fed is likely to raise interest rates again at their next meeting on September 21—probably by 75 basis points. In the week ahead, we will be closely tracking the European Central Bank meeting. Conditions in Europe are similar to the US in terms of elevated inflation and an overheated labor market, but with the additional risks posed by the ongoing situation in Ukraine. Despite those pressures, the consensus expects the ECB to raise rates by 75 basis points. Against this backdrop, CEO business confidence levels continue to decline significantly, a trend that raises the risk of a hard landing. However, at this point, most data—including last week’s strong US employment report—continues to point to a soft landing.

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