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September surprise: U.S. inflation skyrockets

In this post:

  • The U.S. saw an unexpected inflation surge in September.
  • Year-on-year consumer price index held at 3.7%, despite forecasts of a decline.
  • Monthly “core” inflation remained at 0.3%, excluding volatile energy and food prices.

Bucking all forecasts and challenging expert predictions, the U.S. witnessed an alarming inflation rise in September. This unexpected surge not only raises eyebrows but also intensifies the possibility of the Federal Reserve’s intervention via interest rate adjustments.

With this latest revelation, it’s becoming glaringly apparent that the U.S. economy is poised on the brink of significant changes.

Defying Predictions: Numbers Don’t Lie

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that the year-on-year consumer price index has surged to 3.7%. Astonishingly, this is the same as the previous month, even when most economists had foreseen a dip.

On the bright side, if we can call it that, month-to-month inflation did slow down a tad, dropping from 0.6% to 0.4%. Energy prices, typically a significant contributor to inflation rates, offered some relief this time.

However, before anyone breathes easy, the “core” inflation, which excludes the often unpredictable energy and food prices, stubbornly held its ground at a 0.3% monthly increase. When viewed annually, it did slide, but only marginally, from 4.3% to 4.1%.

Alisher Khussainov from Citadel Securities did not mince words, calling this revelation “a warning signal for the Fed.” Across various sectors – be it growth, payrolls, or inflation – the trend is unmistakably hinting at a re-accelerating economy.

Not a recession, as some doomsayers predicted, but a veritable resurgence. The central bank better brace itself for this reality.

Digging Deeper: The Real Concerns

Despite the headline inflation rate’s recent uptick, many market players chose to dismiss it, primarily because volatile energy prices significantly influenced it.

But the latest figures have caught everyone off guard, revealing an unexpected inflation spike in core sectors, with housing costs, in particular, leading the charge, increasing by 0.6% within a month.

MUFG’s U.S. economist, Agron Nicaj, sounded an alarm about this “shelter component.” One must not jump the gun based on a single month’s data. Yet, this trend might be the canary in the coal mine, signaling issues that the Fed must keep an eagle eye on.

Adding to the concern, robust job data from the previous week already hinted that inflation could stubbornly hover above the Fed’s ideal 2% target.

Following this revelation, Treasury yields experienced a spike, though they still lagged behind the highs they achieved after the last week’s employment statistics disclosure. Meanwhile, the bond market also felt the tremors, with prices dropping as yields shot up.

Market Trembles: A Domino Effect

The U.S. stock market had its share of palpitations, oscillating between gains and losses. However, it steadied itself by noon with the S&P 500 registering a 0.1% gain and the Nasdaq Composite climbing by 0.3%.

With the unfolding scenario, traders upped their game, speculating another Federal Reserve intervention before the year closes. The odds, though, are still evenly split.

Several insiders from the Fed believe that escalating Treasury yields might inadvertently tighten the financial conditions without the bank having to meddle with its interest rate.

This sentiment momentarily buoyed both stocks and Treasury prices. However, in light of Thursday’s unsettling inflation report, the Federal Reserve might find itself in an unenviable spot, compelled to rethink its stance.

Since March 2022, the federal funds rate has risen exponentially from a negligible close to zero to a bracket of 5.25-5.5%. And as the dust settled after the Fed’s latest policy rendezvous in September, whispers grew louder about another possible rate hike before the year concludes, followed by a gradual series of reductions in the subsequent two years.

In this unfolding economic drama, one thing is clear: the U.S. is on the precipice of change, and all eyes are on the Federal Reserve’s next move. Will they, or won’t they? Only time will tell.

Disclaimer: The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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