The year-over-year headline number was in line with market expectations but the month-over-month increase missed market consensus (0.1% vs. 0.2% expected). All else being equal, there is a good chance CPI might have peaked for 2018. A stronger dollar is disinflationary while the short term impact of tariffs is higher import prices.
Headline and Core CPI figures hit estimates right on the nose in May, continuing the trend of modest but not outrageous price increases. Energy prices have boosted headline CPI while core CPI continues to be driven by services. With both of the Fed’s mandates pretty much accomplished, appreciate this rare window of time.
The latest Core CPI number disappointed again. The divergence between inflation break-evens and the yield curve is puzzling. Given the lack of inflationary pressure and the Fed’s projected rate path, it would not surprise us to see a flatter curve without the help of fiscal stimulus in the next few months.
The CPI numbers have disappointed three months in a row. Weak commodity prices do not inspire higher inflation expectations. The global scope of inflation deceleration adds more weight to the recent soft readings. However, lower bond yields relative to nominal growth rate is inflationary and buffers the impact of weak inflation and rate hikes.
The latest CPI is weaker and the softness was sooner than we expected. More alarming is the recent broad-based deterioration in economic data. Lower inflation expectations have flattened the yield curve recently, which hurt Financial stocks. We believe inflation has likely peaked for the time being and patience is the right approach for the reflation trade at this point.
The dovish rate hike is a positive for inflation and credit. A hawkish message right now would have been quite detrimental and self-defeating in terms of realizing two more hikes later this year. We believe achieving sustained 2-3% inflation could be harder than most people expect going forward. Overall, we are encouraged by the dovish hike but we think the real test for inflation is when the base effect starts to wane.
CPI numbers were strong and better than expected. A big part of the recent upturn in inflation has to do with the much lower base from a year ago. We are seeing upside inflation surprises on a global basis but wage inflation is still disappointing. We are encouraged by the general uptrend in inflation data but we think the real test comes after the positive base effect subsides.
· One bright spot in last month’s lackluster market action was that inflation sensitive assets saw impressive relative returns.
Both CPI and PPI surprised to the upside.The three key drivers for inflation (oil, the Dollar and the Chinese yuan) all saw some improvements. Despite the recent improvements, we are still in no hurry to call the bottom in inflation. The downturn in the energy and manufacturing industries has wide-reaching effects. Patience and caution are still warranted.
With the recent weakness in oil prices and the renewed strength of the U.S. dollar, we would not be surprised to see weaker headline numbers in the next few months. The expectations of a rate hike might actually end up pushing the rate hike further out. We are now less sanguine about a pick-up in PPI in the rest of the year.
While there’s understandable obsession over the likely level of inflation (especially with the year-over-year CPI dipping below zero in the past two months), equity managers with no interest or skill in inflation forecasting might be better served by monitoring the character of inflation—i.e., whether it was led by changes in consumer or producer prices.
Inflation measures are broadly in line with expectations, and overall inflation pressure is anemic. We maintain our view that inflation will be a non-factor in the first half of 2014, and it might increase moderately in the second half. Inflation on the producers’ level is weak, too and the PPI inflation pipeline doesn’t seem to pose any immediate inflationary threat either.
Inflation measures are anemic and mostly lower than expectations. We maintain our view that inflation will be a non-factor for the next six months but will increase moderately in the following six months. Inflation on the producers’ level to be modest too. We don’t see strong evidence for a big rise in the near term.
The global economy is stuck in a “muddle through” mode with developed and emerging countries showing divergence in terms of leading indicators. Despite this divergence, they share one thing in common: an upturn in inflation. How much more room there is for easing is a key determinant of asset market performance.