CHARLOTTE – The economy appears headed toward a coveted soft landing – and not a recession – in the coming year, says Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan.

“So our team has the economy slowing down but staying in a positive growth mode for the first, second and third quarters” of about one-half percent before picking back up at the end of 2024, says Moynihan. “That’s the definition of a soft landing,” he added.

Moynihan offered his thoughts on the economy before more than 500 Charlotte business and civic leaders at the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance’s Annual Outlook meeting. He was joined by Lowe’s CEO Marvin Ellison and Ric Elias, founder and CEO of Red Ventures, the privately held online marketing company based in Fort Mill, South Carolina. The event took place at The Revelry at Camp North End.

Elias started the conversation by repeating a Labor Department report released earlier Tuesday that annual inflation growth had slowed to 3.1%, but not quite the 2% growth the Fed has hoped to achieve by hiking interest rates.

“It looks like the Fed is going to nail this thing with a soft landing after all,” Elias told Moynihan and Ellison.

Moynihan predicted that the Federal Reserve would reduce interest rates three times in 2024 and four times in 2025 for an overall reduction of 1.75%. The Fed has raised interest rates 11 times – starting in March 2022 and ending in July 2023 – to try and curb inflation, which hit 40-year highs this summer. The Federal Reserve’s current interest rate of 5.25% to 5.5% is a 22-year high.

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