As the year begins, the US Dollar Index has seen a 2.8% increase against a basket of currencies, including the British pound, euro, Swiss franc, Japanese yen, Canadian dollar and Swedish krona. Despite optimism that interest rate cuts would begin soon after the decline in the US currency last November, this did not occur as Fed Chair Jerome Powell expressed that cuts are unlikely to start in March. Recent economic data indicates that the Federal Reserve may keep rates higher for longer due to a resilient labor market and an annual Consumer Price Index of 3.4%, above their 2% target. While a stronger dollar can be detrimental to American companies spending on imported goods, it also increases Americans’ spending power when traveling abroad.
The economy in Billings and Montana is also worth examining. To stay updated on local news and economic updates in your area, sign up for our Daily Headlines newsletter to receive relevant information directly to your inbox.