The New Normal Goes On and On, Forever?

The “new normal” of low interest rates and central bank accommodations (quantitative easing, etc.) was supposed to end when the US and world economies got back on their feet. The “training wheels” could then come off. Recent developments continue to suggest that the training wheels may be on for a while. The Fed has been quite dovish lately with rate hikes on hold and announcements that the balance sheet reduction will end this year. Recent inflation data is very interesting: last weeks jobs report indicated the highest wage inflation in recent years. Today’s PPI report showed a 0.1% rise in producer’s prices and, very significantly, little or no inflation in the “pipeline” which predicts inflation over the next few months. The Fed watches wage inflation closely but will base their rate decisions on overall inflation, therefore, today’s report is dovish. Brexit and China trade agreement uncertainty is also weighing on markets, keeping yields low. The 10 year T hit a recent multi-month low at 2.59% yesterday and today is at 2.62%. Stay tuned. By David R. Pascale, Jr. , Senior Vice President at George Smith Partners