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Moving to the phase where bad news becomes good news

November 21, 2022
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The likelihood of the delivery of sustained disinflation in 2023

Despite persistent fears that financial conditions are sufficiently restrictive to cause a slowdown next year, the positive market reaction to the weaker than expected October CPI data seemed to indicate a transition to a new phase of inflation dynamic analysis - the likelihood of the delivery of sustained disinflation in 2023.

Bad economic news feeds this narrative and therefore could now be seen as good news.

Chart 1: On the cusp of phase 3 of inflation analysis

 Source: Wilshire, Refinitiv. Data as of November 15, 2022

Intensified focus on the Fed’s disinflation forecast for 2023

Chart 1 plots the progression of the Fed’s core PCE inflation indicator. The twelve month period between February 2021 and February 2022 saw the inflation rate almost triple, generating the hawkish tilt by the Fed. Since then, the inflation rate has plateaued (albeit at an elevated level).

The focus now turns to the plausibility of inflation moving sequentially lower next year as predicted by the Fed. Their current forecast of year-end 2023 inflation reaching 3.1% requires a monthly run rate of 0.3%. A run rate of 0.2% a month would deliver a 2.4%-year end inflation level.

Forward looking indicators such as the ISM prices paid index point to continued downward pressure on headline inflation in the coming months.

Chart2:  The ISM manufacturing prices paid index points to lower US CPI  

 Source: Wilshire, Refinitiv. Data as of November 15, 2022



Perception that inflation could be peaking and then encountering disinflationary headwinds (after the October CPI report) produced a downward shift in the US interest rate curve as can be seen in Chart 3.

Any further signs of weakness in final demand (bad news) could now be the catalyst for continued downward shifts in the interest rate curve (good news).


Chart 3: US market rate expectations fell after the lower-than-expected US CPI numbers



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Philip Lawlor

Managing Director,  Market Research (Benchmarks)

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