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US Economic Growth Surges to 2.4% Amid Fed's Aggressive Policy Measures

Amid Federal Reserve's forceful policy moves, the US economy experiences an unexpected uptick in growth with a marked decrease in jobless claims.


Q2 Economic Growth Outperforms Expectations

The US economy displayed remarkable resilience in the second quarter of the year, accelerating in the face of the Federal Reserve's assertive policy tightening. Preliminary data from the Commerce Department on Thursday revealed an annual expansion of 2.4% in the April-June period. This robust growth exceeded economists' predictions, which had anticipated growth of 1.8%.

Policy Changes and Interest Rate Hikes

The surge in growth comes a day after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 25 basis points, reaching their highest level in over two decades. This decision marked the latest phase in the Fed's unparalleled policy-tightening campaign, a strategic initiative targeting high inflation rates. This campaign signifies a dramatic shift from March 2022 when the rates were near zero.

Future Predictions and Market Expectations

Federal Reserve Chair, Jerome Powell, indicated the possibility of another rate increase in September, although market predictions only suggest a 20% probability for a comparable hike. This apprehensive market response is aligned with the general fear of a drastic economic meltdown due to rapid policy changes.

Despite the tightening policy measures, inflation has begun to retreat from its June 2022 peak of over 9%, while consumer spending remains robust. Further bolstering the economy is the strong labor market, with data showing a surprising decline in unemployment claims to 221,000 last week.

The Prospect of a 'Soft Landing'

These trends offer a glimmer of hope for a potential "soft landing." Such an outcome would see the US successfully curtail inflation without triggering a significant economic collapse, providing a gentle transition to a more stable and sustainable growth trajectory.