Inflation: Too Hot?

Relatively hot inflation reports might be blips, but they reinforce why the Fed's rate-cutting cycle might be more gradual, which could be a better backdrop for stocks.

A pair of hotter-than-expected inflation reports last week unsettled markets and further adjusted the expected start point to Federal Reserve rate cuts. Here, we take a look under the hood, specifically of the Consumer Price index (CPI) and its components, and whether we think it's indicative of the old adage about the "last mile" being toughest in terms of bringing inflation down.


As shown in the first chart below, the headline CPI rose 0.3% month/month in January, with the core (ex-food/energy) up 0.4% month/month. Those monthly increases translated to 3.1% and 3.9% in terms of year/year for headline and core CPI, respectively.

CPI monthlies trending up

CPI yearlies still tame