Since the end of the credit crisis, central bankers across the globe have been trying their best to stimulate economic growth and avoid the type of deflationary spiral Japan has been battling for over twenty years. Central bankers have almost universally adopted the view expressed by Ben Bernanke in a 2002 speech, “Prevention of deflation remains preferable to having to cure it.” Deflation increases the real debt burden for borrowers and with it the likelihood of widespread defaults in over-leveraged economies.
The Federal Reserve’s favorite measure of longer-term inflation expectations is the 5-year, 5-year forward inflation rate. This rate measures the market’s expectation for inflation beginning five years from today and ending in ten years (i.e. the expected inflation rate from 2021-2026). Despite unprecedented measures by the Federal Reserve to boost prices and reach its 2% inflation target, longer-term inflation expectations in the U.S. have now reached their lowest level in nearly twenty years (approximately 1.3%). Today’s chart measures the history of the 5-year, 5-year forward inflation rate since 1999. U.S. Treasury Inflation Protected securities (TIPs) were first issued in 1997.Key Takeaway:
Despite moderate growth in the United States and some signs inflation pressures may be building over the near-term, fixed income markets today are suggesting deflation may still be a bigger risk for the economy and investors longer-term. Tracking one of the many key economic indicators the Federal Reserve officials are watching provides investors a valuable tool when assessing the probability and timing around the next potential change in monetary policy.
The material provided here is for informational use only. The views expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Penn Mutual Asset Management.
This material is for informational use only. The views expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Penn Mutual Asset Management. This material is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and it is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy.
Opinions and statements of financial market trends that are based on current market conditions constitute judgment of the author and are subject to change without notice. The information and opinions contained in this material are derived from sources deemed to be reliable but should not be assumed to be accurate or complete. Statements that reflect projections or expectations of future financial or economic performance of the markets may be considered forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ significantly. Any forecasts contained in this material are based on various estimates and assumptions, and there can be no assurance that such estimates or assumptions will prove accurate.
Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. All information referenced in preparation of this material has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness are not guaranteed. There is no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information and Penn Mutual Asset Management shall have no liability for decisions based upon such information.
High-Yield bonds are subject to greater fluctuations in value and risk of loss of income and principal. Investing in higher yielding, lower rated corporate bonds have a greater risk of price fluctuations and loss of principal and income than U.S. Treasury bonds and bills. Government securities offer a higher degree of safety and are guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest if held to maturity.
All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. This material may not be reproduced in whole or in part in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission.