As we get ready to turn the page on 2023 and welcome the new year with all its possibilities, we’d like to take some time to reflect on the year that was—the notable events, trends, and developments that defined our economics, policy, business, and culture—and look a bit into the future to see what 2024 might bring.
2023 in Review
Economy & Markets
The economic picture in 2023 continued to be dominated by inflation and the Federal Reserve’s response to it. Inflation declined from forty-year highs but remained above the Fed’s 2% target. This led to more short-term interest rate hikes, with the federal funds rate reaching a 22-year high of between 5.25% and 5.5% as we approach year-end.1,2
Interest Rate Hikes 2022-2023
Stocks rebounded from the bear market of 2022 and rallied during the first half of 2023. Stocks pulled back during the fall on concerns about the outlook for inflation and fear that the Federal Reserve may keep short-term rates “higher for longer” than the market anticipated.3
Business & Technology Trends
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning went mainstream with the mania surrounding ChatGPT. Launched late last year, ChatGPT reached one hundred million monthly active users in just two months, making it the fastest-growing consumer application in history. AI has gained the attention of corporate leaders, scientists, government regulators, and the public.4
Sales of fully electric vehicles (EV) in the United States are expected to break the one million vehicle barrier in 2023 for the first time ever. Price cuts, wider variety, and more government and manufacturing incentives have helped boost EV sales.5
Barbie became the highest-grossing release in the United States this year and, combined with Oppenheimer, contributed to the fourth-biggest opening weekend box office in US history. Taylor Swift’s and Beyoncé’s tours filled stadiums nationwide, with Swift’s tour gaining particular attention for its costly resale market and ticket-purchasing fiasco. And then there was Swift and football player Travis Kelce’s budding romance that took over the headlines in the sports and entertainment worlds. The power of her influence was immediately felt, with the price of his Kansas City jersey shooting up 400%!6
What to Watch for in 2024
The Fed is expected to keep rates elevated longer than many anticipated to get inflation down to its 2% target. These factors have pressured the housing market and other interest rate-sensitive parts of the economy.
With 2024 being a presidential election year, markets will be watched closely. The S&P 500 has had a positive return in nineteen of the last twenty-three election years since 1928, or 83% of the time. Past performance does not guarantee future results.7
More Human Interest
Next year will see the Summer Olympics in Paris. Movie theaters will be busy with the big screen adaptation of the Broadway musical Wicked, Dune: Part Two, and a truckload of superhero, animated, and horror movie sequels.
A Look Ahead & Back
Whether it was your best year or not, 2023 was far from boring! There’s plenty to continue to follow, and we will keep you updated as events unfold or take shape throughout the new year. So, with that, we wish you a happy holiday season and a safe, healthy, and prosperous new year!
~Stevie and the Purpose Planning Team
The views stated in this letter are not necessarily the opinion of Cetera Advisors LLC and should not be construed directly or indirectly as an offer to buy or sell
any securities mentioned herein. Due to volatility within the markets mentioned, opinions are subject to change without notice. Information is based on sources
believed to be reliable; however, their accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
- Statista.com, October 23, 2023.
- TradingEconomics.com, October 23, 2023.
- Finance.Yahoo.com, October 23, 2023. Stocks are represented by the S&P 500 Composite Index is an unmanaged index that is considered representative of the overall U.S. stock market. Index performance is not indicative of the past performance of a particular investment. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Individuals cannot invest directly in an index. The return and principal value of stock prices will fluctuate as market conditions change. And shares, when sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost.
- Markets.Businessinsider.com, March 13, 2023.
- EnergyConnects.com, January 12, 2023. Any companies mentioned are for illustrative purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Any investment should be consistent with your objectives, timeframe, and risk tolerance.
- RollingStone.com, September 26, 2023.
- Forbes, January 31, 2020.