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It's going to be very hard for Fed Chair Powell's Jackson Hole speech today to satisfy markets, which now expect three further rate cuts by March next year.
The key detail in Friday's barrage of economic data was the above-consensus increase in EZ inflation.
The spike in the May core CPI, and its likely echo in the core PCE, won't stop the Fed easing at the end of this month.
The wild gyrations in the core inflation numbers in recent months have made it hard to keep track of the underlying story.
Markets remain convinced that the U.S. faces no meaningful inflation risk for the foreseeable future.
The immediate impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the auto market was calamitous.
We have revised up our third quarter GDP forecast to 25% from 15%, in the wake of last week's data. Consumers' spending is on course to rise by 36.6% if July's level of spending is maintained, though we're assuming a smaller 33% increase, on the grounds that the expiration of the enhanced unemployment benefits on July 31 will trigger a dip in spending for a time.
The upturn in core CPI inflation this year has passed by almost unnoticed in the markets and media. In the year to September, the core CPI rose 1.9%, up from a low of 1.6% in January. But that's still a very low rate, and with core PCE inflation unchanged at only 1.3% over the same period, it's easy to see why investors have remained relaxed. In our view, though, things are about to change, because a combination of very adverse base effects and gradually increasing momentum in the monthly numbers, is set to lift both core inflation measures substantially over the next few months.
The weekly jobless claims numbers are due Thursday, as usual, but in the wake of a flood of emails from readers, all asking a variant of the same question-- should we be worried about the rise in continuing jobless claims?--we want to address the issue now.
In the wake of the surprise 0.6% July surge in the core CPI, the biggest increase since January 1991--most forecasters look for mean reversion to 0.2% in today's August report.
The undershoot in the September core CPI does not change our view that the trend in core inflation is rising, and is likely to surprise substantially to the upside over the next six-to-12 months.
On the face of it, our forecast of higher core inflation by the end of this year is seriously challenged by the recent data.
The 0.1% dip in the core CPI in March was the first outright decline in three years, but we expect another-- and bigger--decline in today's April numbers.
The consensus forecast for the October core CPI, which will be reported today, is 0.2%. Take the over. Nothing is certain in these data, but the risk of a 0.3% print is much higher than the chance of 0.1%.
The 0.4% August core CPI print was close to our expectations, and it likely will look much the same in September and October, driven by the same forces.
We have no argument with the FOMC's view that the Covid crisis is a disinflationary event, but the run of three straight outright month-to-month declines in the core CPI likely came to an end in June.
Core CPI inflation has been 2.1-to-2.2% year-over- year for the past seven months, a remarkably stable run which likely will persist for a few more months.
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