Sage Investment Club

 St. Louis Federal Reserve leader James Bullard, following today’s Consumer Price Index data that came in as expected on the whole, besides the one exception on a monthly basis in the headline number, stated that the most likely scenario is inflation remaining above 2%, so the policy rate will need to be higher for longer. 

Key comments

Looks like we had above-trend rate of economic growth in Q4 2022.
US households still remain flush.
That should support consumption spending this year.
Better global prospects this year than just a few weeks ago.
Global growth prospects have brightened in last few weeks.
Hard to see how unemployment is going to go up; labor market is strong.
Inflation remains extremely high even after today’s CPI data.
It is still well above fed’s target but it is moderating.
Fed’s policy has kept inflation expectations under control.
I expect inflation to move down as we go forward; our policy has been the right one.
Fed needs to avoid repeat of the 1970s, must maintain rates at high enough levels to make sure inflation moves down.
Something north of 5% lowest level fed could use to credibly restrict inflation.
My preference is that if we are shooting for north of 5%, should get there as soon as possible.
Tactics aren’t that don’t matter that much in macro terms though.
Possibly too much optimism inflation will come easily back to 2%.
Core cpi has moderated but not as much as headline figure.
Dallas mean measure gives indication of how hard it will be to get inflation down to 2% in a reasonable time frame.
Today’s cpi data was encouraging though that we are heading in right direction.
Most likely scenario is inflation number will remain above 2% and so policy rate will need to be higher for longer
We are really moving into an era of higher norminal interest rates for quite a while moving forward to get inflation back to target.
Measures of financial stress remain at relatively low levels.
Recession risks has receded some over the last 3 months.
Prospects for a soft landing have improved.
We will have to stay higher for longer to avoid repeat of 1970s.
I like frontloading policy.
I don’t see purpose in dragging things out.
Direct correlations between money growth and inflation not strong enough to rely on.
However is a good, indicative sign.

US Dollar update

The US Dollar has dropped on the back of the CPI data. The year-over-year CPI print landed at 6.5% or 0.6 of a percentage point cooler than the November number. The one exception was a positive surprise. On a monthly basis, the headline number actually decreased by a nominal 0.1% instead of remaining unchanged, as analysts expected.

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