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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 key detail in Friday's barrage of economic data was the above-consensus increase in EZ inflation.
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.
Markets remain convinced that the U.S. faces no meaningful inflation risk for the foreseeable future.
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.
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 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.
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%.
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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