The big economic news last week was Wednesday’s report of June’s CPI inflation showing larger than expected drops in both headline and core inflation rates.
- Headline CPI inflation fell to 3% for the last 12 months ending in June 2023, and core CPI increased by only 0.16% m/m in June, which is less than 2% in annualized terms and the smallest 1-month increase since August 2021.
- All this has raised hopes that if the Fed raises rates later this month to 5.25% to 5.50%, that it will be its last increase in this rate increasing cycle.
- Consumer sentiment also showed a belief of a broad slowdown in inflation, along with a resilient labor market.
- The Producer Price Index for final demand increased 0.1 percent in June (BLS). On an unadjusted basis, the index for final demand increased only 0.1 percent for the 12 months ended in June.
The current stock market rally looks to be fueled by momentum around AI. As a result, equities in some IT and industrials sectors continue to outperform, favoring U.S. markets.
- Equities in the US have performed better in 2023 than the rest of the world: the MSCI USA Index has increased by more than 16%, while the MSCI All Country World Index Excluding USA has risen by only about 7%.
- Early Q2 earnings reports last week were better than expected, but more companies begin reporting this week.
Chinese policymakers have been taking further steps to support their economy last week, with their efforts being directed at struggling sectors rather than the wider economy through broad stimulus measures.
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