Loretta Mester: Fed sees no progress on inflation As I mentioned in yesterday's article, the Fed's key rate decisions are in the spotlight. If earlier some traders expected a shift to a softer stance, now everyone is betting on further tightening. The regulator is likely to raise the interest rate at least 3 more times at its meetings. Some analysts reckon the Fed may continue to hike rates in 2023. At the start of this year, the Fed planned to raise the benchmark rate to 3.5%. Now, many Fed officials expressed the need to hike the key rate to 4.5%. If inflation does not begin to decline at the pace set by the central bank, the watchdog may switch to aggressive tightening. The Fed's top priority is to tame inflation to 2%. However, the central bank admits that it may take years. Notably, inflation is not only an economic issue but also a political one. If Joe Biden's administration fails to slow down soaring consumer prices, the Democrats may lose their majority in the Senate and Congress. This is why Joe Biden and the Democratic Party need to push inflation down as soon as possible. The Fed is an independent organization. Yet, it should also achieve some positive shifts in the fight against inflation as confidence in the central bank has declined sharply during the pandemic and in the years after the pandemic. The inflation report is due tomorrow. Analysts do not expect a noticeable slowdown. The reading is likely to decline by 0.1-0.2% on an annual basis. Yesterday, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said that the Fed is still unable to cap galloping inflation. "Unacceptably high and persistent inflation remains the key challenge facing the US economy. Despite some moderation on the demand side of the economy and nascent signs of improvement in supply-side conditions, there has been no progress on inflation," Mester said. When inflation comes down, the Fed will hold interest rates at high levels for some time to assess the cumulative impact of what the Fed has done. "Monetary policy is moving into restrictive territory and will need to be there for some time in order to put inflation on a sustained downward path to our 2% goal," she said, adding "I do not anticipate any cuts in the fed funds target range next year." In my opinion, the Fed is ready to raise the interest rate even above 4.5%. If this scenario comes true, demand for the US currency may climb even more. The US dollar is steadily growing amid monetary tightening. So, it may rise even higher amid sharper rate hikes. If traders have already priced in the likelihood of the rate increase to 4.5%, they may factor in a bigger rate increase. If investors have ignored two ECB rate hikes and seven Fed rate hikes, then they may continue to do so in the coming months. I believe that the US currency is likely to reach new highs. In this case, the current wave markup of the euro/dollar pair is correct. However, the wave markup of the pound/dollar pair needs adjustments with the construction of a downward trend section. I believe that there is a construction of a downward trend section now but it may end at any moment. The instrument could complete another upward correction wave. So, I advise selling with the target level located near 0.9397, the Fibonacci level of 423.6%. The MACD indicator is pointed downward. It is better to be cautious as it is unclear how long the euro may decline.