U.S. Federal Reserve officials, who have tentatively embraced the possibility they can squelch inflation without a recession, meet this week with an autoworkers strike, a possible federal government shutdown, and a student loan squeeze on consumers posing new risks to that best-case outcome.
The United Auto Workers launched a strike against all three major automakers on Friday with an initial walkout of around 13,000 employees at three plants, but those numbers could grow. Federal elected officials have only until Sept. 30, when current spending authorizations expire, to come up with a deal or federal agencies will have to shutter, and congressional Republicans have stymied negotiations. Student loan repayments restart in October after a three-year suspension during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In isolation, none would likely shift policymakers' sense of the short-term risks or change their focus on quelling still-elevated inflation.