Investors globally are wondering – after CPI sent the ‘peak inflation’ narrative to the bottom of the ocean and Powell’s Jackson Hole speech (and this FOMC statement and press conference) crushed the ‘Fed Pivot’ narrative – what other potential indicators/signals (aside from a multi-month slowdown in inflation of course) could prompt Powell and his pals to back off their uber-hawkishness?
Expectations for a 0.1% MoM drop in CPI has set the squeeze-algos on fire in recent days as the small drop signals ‘peak inflation’ and goldilocks and a unicorn-filled Fed will step back and declare victory (with a lag). Short-term interest-rates – however – have not been buying that dovish story, so how the market reacts to today’s print will be fascinating given the technical background of extreme negative delta and positioning, and now momentum. The market was pricing in a 90% chance of a 75bps hike by The Fed next week ahead of the CPI print.
While economists expected another modest rise in inflation on a MoM basis (if far below the 1.3% surge in June), the headline US Consumer Price Inflation was expected to slow from +9.1% YoY to +8.7% YoY in July, but it actually slowed significantly more than expected to +8.5% Yoy (flat MoM), ending a 16-month streak of MoM gains.
While it is traditionally viewed as a B-grade economic indicator, the April consumer credit report from the Federal Reserve was another shocker especially after last month’s stunning surge in credit card debt which saw the biggest increase in revolving credit on record which is why we said that today’s G.19 print straight from the Fed would be just as important as Friday’s CPI print…