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Has Inflation Gone Down?
Greg Womack -- Oklahoma Financial Adviser Greg Womack -- Oklahoma Financial Adviser
Oklahoma City, OK
Monday, December 11, 2023


Still exceeding expectations.

Last week, the United States Treasury market rallied. Yields fell and bond prices rose as some bond market investors enthusiastically embraced the idea that the Federal Reserve will soon change course. Michael Mackenzie and Rich Miller of Bloomberg explained:

"Softening inflation and employment data in the past month have convinced investors that the Federal Reserve is done raising interest rates and ignited bets that cuts of at least 1.25 percentage points are in store over the next 12 months. Treasury yields, which touched highs of 5% as recently as October, have declined sharply, with the U.S. 10-year benchmark sliding more than three-quarters of a percentage point."

Bond investors were hoping that last week's unemployment report would show jobs and wage growth slowing in November. Instead, employers added more jobs than expected (199,000 jobs vs. 180,000), and the unemployment rate fell to 3.7 percent.

On Friday, the Treasury market reversed course. Yields on long and short-term Treasury bonds rose sharply and prices fell, reported Karishma Vanjani of Barron's.

The employment report also showed that average hourly earnings increased in November – rising 4 percent year-over-year. Wages have risen faster than inflation for seven months, reported Sarah Foster of Bankrate. However, many workers are still feeling a pinch.

"While inflation has come down, broadly speaking, prices have not. There is a kind of continuing, virtual sticker shock that continues to weigh on the minds and pocketbooks of consumers that is meaningful," according to Senior Bankrate Economic Analyst Mark Hamrick.

Last week, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained for the sixth consecutive week, according to Bloomberg, and yields on most maturities of U.S. Treasuries moved higher.

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Dateline: Edmond, OK United States
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