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The Week Ahead: Fed Chair in the Spotlight

Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve will give his semiannual testimony to the Senate Banking Committee as well as the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday, July 9 and Wednesday, July 10, respectively.

A focus on transparency and ensuring that the policy actions by the Federal Reserve supported the goals of maximum employment and price stability were the theme of Powell's earlier semi-annual monetary report to the Congress in February.

Giving an overview of the economy at that time, Powell said that in 2018, economic growth was supported by "increases in employment and wages, optimism among households and businesses, and fiscal policy actions." However, he indicated that over the past few months "some of the data have softened but still point to spending gains this quarter."

"While the partial government shutdown created significant hardship for government workers and many others, the negative effects on the economy are expected to be fairly modest and to largely unwind over the next several months," Powell said.

Despite expectations of a rate-cut the Fed left interest rates unchanged during its June meeting. There is an expectation, according to Bloomberg, that the Fed is set to cut rates, possibly as soon as its July 30-31 meeting.

WalletHub recently released results of a survey earlier this month that showed the likelihood the Fed will slash interest rates increased as 2019 continues. The chances of an increase grow to 97% by September 18. The Fed has increased interest rates nine times, with no decreases, since December 2015.

Here's what else is happening in the week ahead:

  • NY Fed Survey of Consumer Expectations, Monday, 10 a.m. EST
  • Fannie Mae, Home Purchase Sentiment Index, Monday, 8 a.m. EST
  • AMDC Webinar - Tracking and Reporting Vendor Diversity, Tuesday, 2 p.m. CDT
  • MBA Mortgage Apps, Wednesday 8 a.m. EST
  • Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey, Thursday, 10 a.m. EST
  • FORCE Webinar - Turn Over Inventory Faster with Private Lending, Thursday, 12 p.m. CDT

About Author: Radhika Ojha

Radhika Ojha is an independent writer and copy-editor, and a reporter for DS News. She is a graduate of the University of Pune, India, where she received her B.A. in Commerce with a concentration in Accounting and Marketing and an M.A. in Mass Communication. Upon completion of her masters degree, Ojha worked at a national English daily publication in India (The Indian Express) where she was a staff writer in the cultural and arts features section. Ojha, also worked as Principal Correspondent at HT Media Ltd and at Honeywell as an executive in corporate communications. She and her husband currently reside in Houston, Texas.
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