The latest inflation figures have had a significant impact on U.S. Treasury yields, causing them to tumble. This comes as the October consumer price index showed a dramatically slower pace of price increases compared to previous months. The 10-year Treasury yield fell by nearly 17 basis points to around 4.46%, while the 2-year Treasury yield slid by 21 basis points to 4.8%. This decline in yields is a result of the inverse relationship between yields and prices. It is important to note that one basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.
The Labor Department reported that the October consumer price index remained unchanged month over month, which is contrary to economists’ predictions of a 0.1% monthly rise. When excluding food and energy, the core consumer price index increased by 0.2%. Although this figure fell short of the expected 0.3% rise, it is worth highlighting that core CPI was up by 4.0% year over year. However, this marks the slowest 12-month inflation rate since September 2021. This data is seen as a positive sign in the Federal Reserve’s campaign to bring price increases back to its 2% target without triggering a recession.
The release of the inflation figures has raised questions about the future of interest rates. There is growing speculation about whether the central bank will further hike rates or consider rate cuts, as well as when these changes could occur. Gregory Faranello, the head of U.S. rates strategy at AmeriVet Securities, acknowledges the need for the economy to moderate to alleviate inflationary pressures. He states, “We don’t want to see the wheels fall off the economy, but when all was said and done the Fed needs the economy to temper down here a little bit to take the inflation edge off.”
Following the release of the inflation report, the options market implied a 0% chance of a rate hike in December. The probability for a rate hike in January was negligible at 4.1%, according to the CME FedWatch Tool. This indicates that investors are anticipating a continued decline in interest rates unless there is a significant economic downturn. Faranello suggests that as long as yields continue to decrease, the market will respond positively, stating, “As long as the direction remains lower … unless the wheels come off the economy, I think markets are going to like it.”
During the recent Federal Reserve meeting, policymakers decided to keep rates unchanged. However, they did not rule out the possibility of future rate hikes. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated the central bank’s commitment to its 2% inflation target. The latest inflation figures provide a favorable backdrop for the Federal Reserve’s efforts to achieve its target without jeopardizing economic growth.
The slower pace of price increases indicated by the latest inflation figures has had a significant impact on U.S. Treasury yields. The decline in yields reflects the market’s response to these figures and the growing uncertainty surrounding future interest rate movements. While the data suggests a positive sign for the Federal Reserve’s inflation goals, it remains to be seen how the central bank will ultimately respond to the changing economic landscape.