One of the downstream impacts of the Fed’s recent monetary policy tightening is a steadily appreciating dollar, as it gains ground against the currencies of nations whose banks continue to ease policy. While a strengthening dollar is not without its benefits, it typically harms multinational corporations who have significant international sales. As a result, U.S. companies like McDonald’s, Nike, and Amazon have seen their earnings come under pressure in recent quarters.
This dynamic complicates the decision-making of the Federal Reserve, which remains wary of further harming corporate profits by tightening too aggressively. While most pundits still project that the Fed will raise short-term rates by mid-2016 at the latest, we continue to expect that the Fed will be patient and deliberate with any policy tightening, lest they disrupt our nation’s still-tepid economic growth.