US inflation is the highest in 40 years, yet inflation may be slowing as 1) The Fed cranks up interest rates and 2) the global economy is slowing.
US inflation data in the coming week may stiffen the resolve of Federal Reserve policy makers to proceed with another big boost in interest rates later this month.
The closely watched consumer price index probably rose nearly 9% in June from a year earlier, a fresh four-decade high. Compared with May, the CPI is seen rising 1.1%, marking the third month in four with an increase of at least 1%.
While persistently high and broad-based inflation is seen persuading Fed officials to raise their benchmark rate 75 basis points for a second consecutive meeting on July 27, recession concerns are mounting. There are signs, though, that price pressures at the producer level are stabilizing as commodities costs — including energy — retreat.
But the expectations of inflation, as measured by The Fed’s 5-year forward breakeven inflation rate, just crashed to 1.8437%.
The breakeven inflation rate is a market-based measure of expected inflation. It is the difference between the yield of a nominal bond and an inflation-linked bond of the same maturity.
The USD Inflation Swap Forward 5Y5Y is also falling like a rock as The Fed hikes their target rate (green line).
Could it be that inflation is cooling with Fed rate hikes (but not the shrinking of their $8 trillion balance sheet)?
Currently, Fed Funds Futures are pointing to a Fed target rate of 3.552% by February 2023. And with that, Bankrate’s 30-year mortgage rate rose to 5.75%. Once again, like velociraptors from Jurassic Park, The Fed’s balance sheet is still out in force.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell and Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic are keeping The Fed’s balance sheet at near $9 trillion as they hunt assets to inflate.