John Hancock: Weekly Market Recap Week Ended August 27th
August 31, 2021
U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Friday confirmed that the central bank expects to begin tapering its bond purchasing program later this year. However, he didn’t set a specific date, and he warned against rushing to tighten monetary policy in response to recent inflation. Stocks rallied following his speech at the virtual Jackson Hole conference.
The transition from August to September will be busy, with several major economic reports scheduled to be released. Housing market data is due out on Monday and Tuesday, followed by reports on manufacturing and service economy trends on Wednesday and Friday, respectively. A private report on employment to be issued on Wednesday will offer a preview of the government’s monthly release on Friday of jobs, unemployment, and wage numbers.
A monthly jobs report due out on Friday will give a further indication of the U.S. labor market’s health as the Delta variant’s spread threatens to slow economic growth. The update will follow a strong July jobs report that showed the economy generated 943,000 new jobs—the largest gain in 11 months—as the unemployment rate fell to 5.4%.
The inflation report that the U.S. Federal Reserve uses to track consumer prices posted the fifth big monthly increase in a row, climbing to the highest level in three decades. The personal consumption expenditure price index climbed 0.4% in July, and the 12-month rate rose to 4.2% from 4.0%—the highest level since 1991.