Bonds: Total Market


US core retail prices came in soft in new data this week. The US core consumer price index, which excludes food and energy, rose 0.1% from the previous month and 2% from a year earlier in March. The readings both underperformed expectations, but are not considered indicative of a recession or any real economic trouble.

FINSUM: This data reinforces the idea that we are in a goldilocks moment with the economy. Let’s see if that continues. If it does, it sets up a nice environment for asset price growth.

(New York)

For the last year all the fear in bond markets was about inflation and how the Fed would handle it. Were we going to be hiked into a recession? Now all of that has shifted and fixed income gurus are concerned over an entirely different beast—recession. In many ways the fears of recession have become so strong that they are intimidating the market as a whole, making the term “bond vigilante” more than appropriate here.

FINSUM: The speed with which the bond market has reversed since December is pretty alarming. We do wonder if this inversion might be a false signal.

(New York)

The professor who first identified yield curve inversions has written an article explaining what the development really means. First identified in 1986, a yield curve inversion is considered the most widely accurate indicator of recession. Since it was first identified and back tested, it has accurately predicted a further 3 out of 3 recessions. This is a point its “discoverer” Campbell Harvey hammers home in his article. He explains that an inversion is usually followed by a recession within 12-18 months. The yield curve has not been inverted since before the Crisis, but just did so on Friday.

FINSUM: One of the important points Harvey makes is that in order for the inversion to really indicate a recession, it needs to remain in place for at least three months. We are only at one day.

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