Pacific Investment Management Co.’s Bill Gross, manager of the world’s biggest mutual fund, said investors who are selling Treasurys on expectations that the Federal Reserve will scale back its accomodative policy are missing the influence of inflation.
“The market has left out inflation targets,” Gross said during an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Street Smart.”
“This is a combined growth, unemployment and inflation type of combination that has to be delicately managed.”
Chairman Ben Bernanke said the Fed may start reducing bond purchases later this year and end the program in 2014 should risks to the U.S. economy abate.
The Federal Open Market Committee forecasts the economy to grow 3 percent to 3.5 percent next year, driving the unemployment rate down to 6.5 percent to 6.8 percent from 7.6 percent in May.
“The real economy won’t follow the path the Fed thinks it will,” said Gross. “The chairman suggested yesterday that, once we get through this soft patch of fiscal austerity in the U.S., that the 3 percent growth number is indeed where we should be and where they expect we’ll be. We have our doubts at Pimco.”
Bernanke also said at the news conference in Washington that the rise in mortgage rates recently hasn’t been “so dramatic” as he suggested the housing market may be strong enough to withstand higher borrowing costs.
Yields on Fannie Mae’s 3.5 percent, 30-year securities have soared 0.4 percentage point in the past two days to a 19-month high of 3.1 percent.
“The chairman was rather dismissive in terms of mortgage rates,” Gross said. “To dismiss that increase in costs based on higher interest rates I think is not only dismissive but again not reflective of what may lie ahead in terms of housing prices and the real economy.”
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