The US Dollar Index is strengthening once again after a turbulent 2023, as Wall Street adjusts to the fact that interest rate cuts are coming later than anticipated. The index, which tracks the dollar against the British pound, euro, Swiss franc, Japanese yen, Canadian dollar and Swedish krona, is up 2.8% for the year as of Friday morning.
In November, the US currency slid and ended the year lower against that basket of currencies as investors grew optimistic that the Federal Reserve would soon cut interest rates. However, Fed Chair Jerome Powell stated in January that interest rate cuts are unlikely to begin in March as widely believed would happen.
Recent economic data has supported the notion that the Fed will keep rates higher for longer. In January, the economy added an eye-popping 353,000 jobs, underscoring the labor market’s continued resilience despite elevated rates. Additionally, the Consumer Price Index rose 3.4% annually in December, still above the central bank’s 2% target.
A stronger dollar is good news for American companies and consumers when it comes to spending less on imported goods and traveling abroad with more purchasing power. However, it can also be challenging for American companies operating abroad.
Let’s take a closer look at how Bismarck and North Dakota are performing economically: