Tags: dollar | invest | safety | inflation

Investors Should Keep Their Money in US, Dollar-Based Assets

Investors Should Keep Their Money in US, Dollar-Based Assets

By    |   Monday, 22 February 2016 08:38 AM

The latest U.S. core inflation data show the index for all items except for food and energy increased 2.2 percent in the past 12 months — the highest 12-month change since June 2012, and which exceeds the 1.9 percent average annualized increase over the last 10 years.

The index for shelter has risen 3.2 percent over the same time span, and the medical care index has increased 3.0 percent.

This of itself was not necessarily hugely surprising. Nevertheless, the fact the increase has been part of a steady inextricable trend higher in U.S. core inflation for the past year and it is the steady and relentless rising core CPI does give some cause for thought.

Some of the markets have been dazzled by the effects of the lower oil price and have started thinking that inflation is dead and gone. The core CPI in the U.S. tells us this is just not true and that there are underlying inflation pressures that continue to build.

It is also important not to overlook the fact there is not automatically a read through from the U.S. experience to that of other countries as core inflation has a very low correlation across countries at the moment, suggesting that underlying inflation pressures are primarily local issues.

With what we know today we can be relatively sure the rising trend of U.S. core CPI will continue and that supports Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester who said on Friday: “My feeling is the path of interest rates to support the economy is going to be still one where we gradually reduce the amount of accommodation.”

Besides all that we also had this morning various Purchasing Management Business Sentiment Indexes (PMI) surveys that were released and of which the one for the Euro area was the most important and that shows growth in the Euro area was at its lowest in over a year and prices continue to fall further.

The Markit Chief Economist Chris Williamson made an interesting comment saying: “Not only did the survey indicate the weakest pace of economic growth for just over a year, but deflationary forces intensified. Economic growth is likely to slow below 0.3 percent ... In fact, growth looks more likely to slow further than accelerate.”

If Mr. Williamson is right, this means a further strengthening of the euro against the dollar is very unlikely as further easing by the ECB is fully in the cards at the next ECB Governing Council meeting on monetary policy on March 10.

This March 10 will be important as we can expect the divergence in monetary policies between the Fed and the ECB to widen further, which should translate in weaker euro and stronger dollar.

In China, authorities are apparently concerned about moves in their financial markets and therefore have shuffled over the weekend market regulators.  The change in personnel could be a coincidence, but investors seem to interpret the shift as a desire by policy makers to get a grasp on the situation. This has allowed the markets to rally. If that will become a sustained rally remains to be seen.

The just released MNI Indicators ‏inform Chinese firms have reported that conditions in the real economy are rapidly catching up with the overall gloomy sentiment.

Finally, in the UK the long awaited date of the referendum on EU membership has been set on Thursday, June 23.

Interestingly, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson has decided to back the campaign for leaving the EU, which has caused the pound sterling to weaken that brought it back to levels where it was in 2009.

Uncertainty and volatility will impact UK markets, but also far beyond because of that referendum and at least until it's over.

As said here before and for the time being, U.S.- and dollar-based investors, at least in my opinion, should not look elsewhere for remaining safe.

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U.S.- and dollar-based investors, at least in my opinion, should not look elsewhere for remaining safe.
dollar, invest, safety, inflation
Monday, 22 February 2016 08:38 AM
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