Fed’s Dilemma – Hotter Inflation & a Cooling Economy + Why Inflation is so Hateful

Inflation was the main concern of markets this week. On Tuesday (March 12th) Consumer Prices (CPI) came in slightly hot, but within market expectations. As a result, the financial markets took the report in stride and equities rallied. The problem was Thursday’s Producer Price Index (PPI), an index that is a leading indicator of future […]

Despite Deteriorating Economics, Equity Markets at All-Time Highs

There were several important news events this week including the Fed’s January minutes. But this took a back seat to Nvidia’s blowout top and bottom-line numbers and its forward guidance which occurred after Wednesday’s (February 21st) market close. The equity market, which had been relatively flat on Tuesday and Wednesday, advanced more than 2% on […]

Markets Pay Little Attention to Emerging Data That is, Until They Do

The S&P 500 hit an all-time high on Thursday (January 25) on the heels of an unexpectedly robust +3.3% annualized growth rate of real GDP for Q4. Market expectations had been for a +2.0% print, and even the normally optimistic Atlanta Fed GDP Now model was only calling for +2.3% The chart shows the sources […]

In 2024, Expect Lower Interest Rates & Lower Inflation

As we entered 2023, households were still flush with the cash from government handouts, the economy was healthy, the federal government was still running a significant deficit, and interest rates, while rising, had not yet been restrictive long enough to slow the economy. Real (inflation adjusted) GDP grew at an annualized rate of 3.0% for […]

As Inflation Fades and Incoming Data Disappoint The Fed Appears Intransigent

The headline CPI reading of no price inflation (0.0%) in October surprised the financial markets (but not us). It caused a bond market rally as yields (especially on the long end) fell. Then the PPI (Producer Price Index) showed up with a negative number for October (-0.5%), and this is generally a harbinger of what […]

GDP Growth Will Slow – Likely to Turn Negative

The economic story of the week was the “hot” 4.9% GDP print. The chart shows this in relationship to the recent past, with the dotted line showing the long-run 1.8% growth rate of the economy. The 4.9% is an annualized number, so the actual growth from Q2 was just under 1.5%, and the year/tear growth […]