February 2023 Economic & Market Highlights

The CPC Team

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  • After a strong start to the year, the market took a hit in February, with all asset classes feeling the pain.
  • Substantially higher than expected January payroll data, along with a hot personal consumption expenditure (PCE) report, suggested further interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve.
  • Corporate earnings reports for the fourth quarter were mixed, with 68% of companies reporting positive EPS surprises, below the 5-year average of 77% and the 10-year average of 73%.
  • The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by the expected 0.25%, with another 0.25% hike projected in both March and May.
  • The Federal Reserve's dilemma of how to solve the inflation problem without damaging the labor market and causing a recession remains the central concern for markets.

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