September was a difficult month for financial markets. Bond, share and property markets continued to endure severe volatility within their continued downtrend. In the US, the S&P 500 returned -9.4% over the month, driven by the stronger than expected US inflation data which saw a rise in core inflation. It raised expectations that the central bank would need to raise interest rates by more than had previously been anticipated by market analysts. The Federal Reserve subsequently raised the official cash rate, known as the Fed Funds rate, by 0.75% to 3.25%.
However, the FOMC dot plot which outlines what each U.S. central banker thinks will be the appropriate Fed Funds rate at the end of each calendar year three years into the future, it was raised to reflect that the committee expected more tightening would be necessary. The higher rates go, the higher the probability of recession which will ultimately reflect poorly on company profits in the future.
The forward paths of inflation, economic growth, interest rates, profits and valuations are changing daily with a wide distribution of potential outcomes in 2023 and it is the wide distribution of potential outcomes that are keeping financial markets volatile.