Within 2015 Perspectives you will find our views on today’s markets and recommendations for navigating them. The articles represent the depth and breadth of our investment teams, as well as our commitment to delivering timely investment solutions.
The Fed (and all central banks) is highly sensitive to shifts in inflation expectations by either consumers or the markets. The one-year TIP breakeven appears to be pricing in some deflationary pulse and is also pulling down longer term inflation expectations across the curve.
The factors keeping inflation low remain U.S. dollar strength and sluggish global trade, together with the deflationary pulse from weak energy and commodity prices. While there is little danger of this developing into true deflation, the strong dollar effect will continue to depress inflation for much longer and this has a stronger influence on core inflation.
It is unclear if recent improvements in U.S. labor market data are due to less slack or government-related measures to support worker income and benefits. Occupations with some scarcity of qualified labor have seen some wage pressures, but the gains are likely due to one-time minimum wage hikes.
While the current U.S. business cycle is likely past its mid-point, its durability should not be measured by length alone. The tepid nature of the recovery has prevented the build-up of excesses that normally precede recessions.
While there has been a broad slowing in the last 15 months, the U.S. housing market has stabilized and started to recover. Homebuilders are catering to upscale buyers where financing is less of a constraint, and also building larger and more expensive homes.
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