Slowing U.S. Inflation Fuels Expectations of Interest Rate Cuts
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Slowing U.S. Inflation Fuels Expectations of Interest Rate Cuts

Inflation unlikely to accelerate as it did earlier this year, said AllianceBernstein’s Scott DiMaggio

By PAULO TREVISANI
Mon, Jul 1, 2024 10:02amGrey Clock 2 min

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge met forecasts in May, keeping alive expectations that interest rates could fall faster than policy makers forecast.

The core Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index, which excludes volatile energy and food prices, increased 2.6% from a year ago, slowing from April’s 2.8% pace. The reading met the consensus of economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal.

Core PCE inflation rose 0.1% in the month, compared to a 0.2% increase in April. The headline 12-month reading was 2.6%, slowing from April’s 2.7% pace. In the month, the PCE was flat after rising 0.3% in April, marking the first time consumer prices didn’t go up in six months.

Consensus was met in all readings.

The Fed targets 2% inflation.

“The overall trend we’ve been seeing of disinflation in general isn’t always going to be a smooth ride,” said Kevin Flanagan, head of fixed income strategy at WisdomTree. He expects inflation to keep ticking lower in coming months. “It may be a little more difficult finding out that last mile to get to the Fed 2% goal.”

Treasury yields fell following the data release. Markets have been mostly pricing in an initial 25-basis point interest rate cut in September, plus a second trim still in 2024, according to CME data. Fed officials project only one cut this year. They have said repeatedly that inflation data will determine their next step, and some even left the door open to an interest rate increase.

Forecasts of a more aggressive easing cycle rely mostly on estimates that inflation could collapse as the economy is weighed down by high borrowing costs.

June PCE inflation is due July 26, just ahead of the next rate-setting Fed meeting on July 30- 31.

Inflation is unlikely to accelerate as it did earlier this year, said Scott DiMaggio, director of global fixed income at AllianceBernstein . He warned that year-over-year readings are likely to decline more slowly when compared to the weakening gauges of late 2023.

“We still have some sticky components specially on the services side and that is going to take time to move down,” he said. “We don’t see us getting back to the Fed target until 2025.”



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After Pandemic Slowdown, Global Wealth Is Growing Once Again, Led by the U.S.
By GEOFF NUDELMAN
Sun, Jul 14, 2024 2 min

The latest edition of an annual UBS wealth report notes that while “the global economy is in the midst of a dramatic structural upheaval,” wealth is growing once again after a downturn through the pandemic.

UBS analyzed income and wealth data from 56 markets, representing “92% of the world’s wealth,” in its Global Wealth Report 2024, released Wednesday. The report’s overarching theme found that global wealth grew by 4.2% in 2023, offsetting a loss of 3% in 2022. Even in the face of continued inflation, adjusted global wealth grew by 8.4%.

However, overall global wealth growth is down, from an annual average of 7% between 2000 and 2010 to just over 4.5% between 2010 and 2023, the report said. This equates to a reduction in global wealth of almost one-third.

The remaining growth seems to be continuing on pace in the world’s most developed and already prosperous nations. In the U.S., average wealth per adult grew by nearly 2.5% and the country accounts for 38%, roughly 22 million, of all millionaires worldwide.

Mainland China came in second with just over 6 million millionaires, followed by 3 million  in the U.K.

The report also took a look at the growing issue of wealth transfer. Over the next 25 years, US$83.5 trillion of global wealth will be transferred to spouses and the next generation. UBS estimates 10% of that will be transferred by women and US$9 trillion will shift between spouses.

Wealth in the Asia-Pacific region grew the most—nearly 177%—since the report began tracking data 15 years ago. The Americas come in second, at nearly 146% growth. Surprisingly, Turkey has enjoyed the most wealth growth per adult of any individual nation in the last 15 years—more than 1,700% in local currency.

The world’s wealthiest class continues to be a small, tightly concentrated group. According to the report, only 12 people hold between US$50 billion and US$100 billion and just 14 people hold US$2 trillion of the world’s wealth. The U.S. and Canada are home to individuals holding 44% of this wealth, while another 25% is held by people in Western Europe.

UBS data suggests that global wealth will continue to grow most in emerging markets, with some countries experiencing millionaire growth of up to 50% over the next five years.

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