Last week’s release of the August employment report confirmed the strong trends for hiring and growth in the U.S. The economy added 201,000 jobs for the month, but more importantly, average hourly earnings increased by 0.4% for the month and 2.9% year-over-year (YOY). Wage gains have been stubborn to rise during this economic expansion, however, YOY gains in excess of 3% have become a real possibility. This level of wage gains would support a higher level of sustainable inflation and push interest rates higher.
Over the next few months, I will be closely watching wage gains and inflation in the U.S., as well as the continuing tumult in emerging markets. Fresh readings on inflation will be published this week with the Wednesday and Thursday releases of the Producer Price Index and Consumer Price Index. The interplay of these forces will likely drive much of the market direction for the remainder of the year. I continue to expect a rise in longer term interest rates as the Federal Reserve continues to gradually increase the Fed Funds rate. An increase at the September 26th Fed meeting is anticipated.
This blog post is for informational use only. The views expressed are those of the author, Dave O’Malley, 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.
Any statements about financial and company performance of The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company or its insurance subsidiaries (each, “Client”) made by the author is provided with a written consent from the Client. Penn Mutual Asset Management is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company.
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.