Weighing the Week Ahead: Inflation on the Horizon?

The economic calendar is a light one, and many regular participants are on vacation. The most important data include PPI, CPI, and JOLTS, the best read on a tightening labor market. I expect pundits to put these pieces together and wonder:

Is inflation finally on the horizon?

Last Week Recap

In my last edition of WTWA I took a cue from the cover of Barron’s and asked whether we should be worried about 2020. That was a reasonable guess and it allowed me to generalize about the switch from imminent worries to long-term ones. At the beginning of the week, pundits referred directly to Barron’s. There were also new stories with similar themes.

The media focus on fear is always with us, as the Visual Capitalist illustrates.

Mike Williams sounds a similar note before turning to the trade war issue.

I mean it sounds terrifying when you read some of the rhetoric, but what can they “actually” do?

The bluff and bluster will go the way of Brexit, Chinese Yuan devaluation fears (Acts I, II, II, IV, V, VI and VII), Ebola outbreaks, the outrage at the Border (I mean the Janet Reno version – not the current remake), and everything else that was previously going to throw the globe into the pits of hell.

So, before we squirm out onto the ledge let’s think through this for just a moment: Why can’t China impose “countervailing tariffs?”

He does the math, analyzes the currency threats, and explains why massive bond sales are unlikely.

[Jeff – My long-term concerns about trade are greater than Mike’s, but he helps to provide a context and ring-fence the investment effects].