Economic indicators dashboard – September 2016 – Economic resilience
With just a few more days to go before the Presidential election and the next Federal Reserve meeting, the latest reading of the Economic Indicators Dashboard shows that, as of October 26, all key indicators are within their historical typical range, with the exception of the 10-Year U.S. Treasury Yield.
Over the past month notable developments occurred in market volatility, inflation, economic expansion and consumer sentiment. These indicators are discussed below.
Market volatility (CBOE VIX) spiked at 18 in early September, largely due to uncertainty surrounding central bank policy. However, by the end of the month volatility had settled down to 14.12 again and most major markets finished the third quarter in positive territory. This leveling off of volatility, along with generally low unemployment and strong wages, is encouraging as we approach the December meeting of the Federal Reserve. Russell Investments expects the Federal Reserve to raise rates at their December meeting.
Inflation (CPI) has risen to almost 1.5% through the end of September – the highest it’s been in the past 12 months. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), an increase in shelter and gasoline prices contributed to the change. The Gasoline Index alone rose 5.8% in September, accounting for more than half of the overall increase in the CPI. Although CPI remains below the Federal Reserve’s target of 2%, the upward move is a positive sign.
Economic expansion (GDP growth) in the U.S. remains sluggish, the estimate for the second quarter was recently revised upward from 1.1% to 1.4%. Although the revision may not sound like much, it does mean that economic growth nearly doubled between Q1 (0.8%) and Q2. The Bureau of Economic Analysis attributes the upward revision for Q2 largely to an increase in business investments, private inventory investment, and improved exports.
Consumer sentiment (Consumer Sentiment Index from the University of Michigan) surpassed its “historical typical” range in January 2015 – at 98.10 – and has generally hovered near the low 90’s ever since. More recently, it dipped to 87.9, the lowest it has been in the past 13 months. This dip is likely temporary and primarily influence by consumer concern about the potential outcome of the U.S. presidential election.
Disclosures: These views are subject to change at any time based upon market or other conditions and are current as of the date at the top of the page. The information, analysis, and opinions expressed herein are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual or entity.
This material is not an offer, solicitation or recommendation to purchase any security.
Forecasting represents predictions of market prices and/or volume patterns utilizing varying analytical data. It is not representative of a projection of the stock market, or of any specific investment.
Nothing contained in this material is intended to constitute legal, tax, securities or investment advice, nor an opinion regarding the appropriateness of any investment, nor a solicitation of any type.
Please remember that all investments carry some level of risk, including the potential loss of principal invested. They do not typically grow at an even rate of return and may experience negative growth. As with any type of portfolio structuring, attempting to reduce risk and increase return could, at certain times, unintentionally reduce returns.
The general information contained in this publication should not be acted upon without obtaining specific legal, tax and investment advice from a licensed professional.
The information, analysis and opinions expressed herein are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual entity.
Russell Investments’ ownership is composed of a majority stake held by funds managed by TA Associates with minority stakes held by funds managed by Reverence Capital Partners and Russell Investments’ management.
Frank Russell Company is the owner of the Russell trademarks contained in this material and all trademark rights related to the Russell trademarks, which the members of the Russell Investments group of companies are permitted to use under license from Frank Russell Company. The members of the Russell Investments group of companies are not affiliated in any manner with Frank Russell Company or any entity operating under the “FTSE RUSSELL” brand.
The Russell logo is a trademark and service mark of Russell Investments.
Copyright © Russell Investments 2016. All rights reserved. This material is proprietary and may not be reproduced, transferred, or distributed in any form without prior written permission from Russell Investments. It is delivered on an “as is” basis without warranty.
Russell Investments Financial Services, LLC, member FINRA (www.finra.org), part of Russell Investments.
Tags: economy and markets