Is the inflation crisis over?

Latest CPI figures defy expectations

Is the inflation crisis over?

Despite the Fed’s best efforts, the U.S. economy has maintained its momentum throughout this year, shattering expectations of a potential downturn. Although employment growth was slower in June, robust figures continued to pressure the fed for further rate rises, even though consumer expenditure experienced a slight chill in May relative to the preceding month.

Earlier today, both European equities and Wall Street futures displayed bullish sentiments, whilst the dollar showed signs of weakness. This movement came in anticipation of the upcoming U.S. inflation statistics, which were projected to indicate a descent in price growth to the lowest level seen in over two years for the month of June.

Representing a broad spectrum of European equities, the Stoxx 600 climbed in value by 0.7 per cent, propelled by shares in commodities and healthcare. Concurrently, France’s CAC 40 saw an uptick of 0.8%t and Germany’s DAX also grew in value by 0.7% during the early hours of trading. London’s FTSE 100 showed a positive trend, matching the CAC 40 and increasing by 0.8% with all sectors, except for real estate, showing gains.

Ahead of the opening bell in New York, futures associated with Wall Street’s representative S&P 500 index showed a 0.2% growth. Simultaneously, a measure evaluating the dollar’s performance against six other significant currencies showed a 0.2% decline. This happened as market participants eagerly awaited speeches from four Federal Reserve officials and the release of US inflation figures for June.

A panel of economists consulted by Reuters and The Wall Street Journal yesterday projected an increase in consumer prices by 3.1% in June year on year. This figure is significantly less than the high of 9.1% from June the previous year and a decline from 4% in May, yet it overshoots the Federal Reserve’s target of 2%. The last occasion inflation neared 3% was in March 2021.

And now the actual figure is in – which at 3% is even lower than the market predicted. The next question is – will the Fed still hike rates a quarter of a point at their next meeting?

Housing (shelter) was the biggest contributor to the increase, accounting for over 70% of the growth, with auto insurance also a significant factor.

The food index increased 0.1% in June after increasing 0.2% the previous month. The index for food at home was unchanged over the month while the index for food away from home rose 0.4% in June. The energy index rose 0.6% in June as the major energy component indexes were mixed.