U.S. Economy’s Staying Power Poses Big Questions for the Fed

“It’s a very complicated, convoluted picture depending on which data points you are looking at,” said Matthew Luzzetti, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank, noting that overall growth figures like gross domestic product have slowed — but other key numbers are holding up.

Higher interest rates can take months or even years to have their full effect, but they should theoretically work pretty quickly to begin to slow down the car and housing markets, both of which revolve around big purchases made with borrowed cash.

That story has been complicated this time. Car buying has slowed since the Fed started raising rates, but the auto market has been so undersupplied in recent years — thanks in large part to pandemic-tied supply chain problems — that the cool-down has been a bumpy one. Housing has also perplexed some economists.

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