Fed Chair Jerome Powell shook the markets by stating the obvious. Powel said that ”every participant in the FOMC submits a projection of what they feel is going to happen to the economy and also their projection for appropriate monetary policy. And at the December meeting, the median participant called for three rate increases in 2018. Now since then — we will submit another projection, all of us, in three weeks — but since then, what we’ve seen is incoming data that suggests that strengthening in the economy. We’ve seen continuing strength in the labor market. We’ve seen some data that will, in my case, add some confidence to my view that inflation is moving up to target. We’ve also seen continued strength around the globe, and we’ve seen fiscal policy become more simulative. So, I think each of us is going to be taking the developments, since the December meeting, into account and writing down our new rate paths as we go into the March meeting, and I wouldn’t want to prejudge that.” So what he is saying is that while three rate hikes are now priced in the Fed is data dependent! Who knew!
Of course, anyone that is looking at the economic data here and around the globe should know that 4 rate hikes would be on the table. I predicted that on the Fox Business Network with Liz Claman months ago. We also, of course, predicted on Fox Business Network that Crude would hit $60 last year, which it did, and that oil would rally on strong demand and that is exactly what has happened. Yet, Powell’s comments and some goofy projections by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and a story that, oh my gosh, OPEC was going to have lunch with some shale producer shook out some longs. Yet after accessing the American Petroleum Institute (API) supply and demand report they may want to get back in.
Who said that petroleum demand would be lackluster? Oh yeah, that was the IEA. Well, demand is anything but lackluster. Not only did we see consumer confidence surged to the highest level since the year 2000 coming in at an astounding 130.8 reading. We know that there is a very strong correlation to consumer confidence and gasoline demand. That means that we will see record demand for gasoline this summer’s driving season and should help support the entire complex,