In addition to the health of the US consumer’s balance sheet, a key factor in transitioning the US economy from the mean reversion improvement we are now seeing from the awful Q4 and Q1 performance to a healthy, sustainable long term growth rate will be its ability to deal with the consequence of higher interest rates, whether engineered by the Fed at some point and/or by the market in the longer end of the yield curve. With both fiscal and monetary policies having the intentions of inflation, interest rates and inflation expectations will follow like a shadow the direction of the economy. In just the past week, the FNMA 30 year mortgage coupon is up 46 bps, the 10 yr bond yield is up almost 40 bps as is the implied inflation rate in the TIPS to 1.97%. Also, the $ is finally responding positively to the rise in interest rates. With this said, interest rates are still historically low so this conversation I agree is premature.
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