As we head into the final month of the first quarter in 2018 it looks like it didn’t end on such a great note as the DOW and the S&P are both down over 1 percent. We will see how things continue but right now there’s a little bit of a pause as we are waiting for continued testimony on Capitol Hill from Federal Reserve Chairman Powell.
Everyone will now be pausing, listening, and wordsmithing all of the things Powell shares, comparing what he says, to what he said on Tuesday. There still seems to be some concern about inflation. We are seeing a stronger dollar with the dollar up, 1.8 percent, for the month of February. That is the best month for the dollar in a year. Everyone is concerned about inflation and interest rates. Well, all of that concern and talk about the ten-year going over 3 percent is waning very quickly as we see the ten-year sit at about 2.8. It has been going down as opposed to rising. And that, maybe, is setting aside some of the fears about interest rates, at least for the time being.
But I decided to dig a little bit deeper into inflation. Inflation worries are still on the table as it looks like inflation is nearing the Federal Reserve’s goal of 2 percent. As I have been saying, 2 percent is below normal for any thriving economy. And all indications are that the strengthened economy is continuing to grow, and it’s the economy that we need to be feeling good about. Markets will stabilize. Dust will settle.
Dan Celia is President and CEO of Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries, Inc., and host of the nationally syndicated radio and television program “Financial Issues,” heard daily on more than 600 stations across the country and reaching millions of households on the National Religious Broadcasters Network, BizTV and Dove-TV. To learn more, visit www.financialissues.org.