Markets Soar as Inflation Drops: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of the Latest Inflation Report Card
July 13, 2023
The latest inflation report card has elicited mixed reactions from economists and analysts, while the market reaction appears more straightforward. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for June revealed a drop to 3% Year-on-Year (Y/Y), a significant decline from the 4% headline rate of May. Furthermore, core inflation, which excludes the fluctuating prices of food and energy, only registered a 0.2% Month-on-Month (M/M) increase. This follows six months of climbing by 0.4% or more. On the day the data was released, both the S&P 500 (SP500) and Nasdaq (COMP.IND) ended the session at their highest levels in over a year, suggesting a growing optimism for a soft landing for the U.S. economy.
The Optimistic Outlook
Investing Group Leader Lawrence Fuller paints a promising picture, stating that the decreasing inflation rate provides a firm foundation for the continued bull market in stocks. Fuller argues that despite the core rate remaining above target, the signs of its decline are evident. He confidently asserts that those warning of inflation will struggle to find parts of the price index not aligning with the overall rate.
The Negative Prediction
On a less positive note, SA analyst Justin Purohit predicts that despite the encouraging CPI report, it is unlikely to alter the outcome of the Federal Reserve’s meeting on July 25-26. He expresses concerns that the Fed’s persistent increases risk overshooting crucial components. Purohit argues that the deceleration of these elements is anticipated to intensify later in the year. Given these factors, he suggests that the Fed may be heading towards a policy mistake.
The Realistic Analysis
Lastly, Mott Capital Management provides a more balanced view. They believe that while the inflation cycle appears to be in a good place on the surface, the reality may be different. They highlight that core goods and services remain relatively high despite minor improvements. This observation challenges the market’s long-held belief that inflation will simply disappear. Mott Capital Management suggests that, based on the data, the market’s toughest challenges are probably just beginning.