GDP, PCE, and Jobs

U.S. stocks and bonds were hit by inflation concerns over the past week, but what is the economic data telling us? A barrage of U.S. economic data was released over the past two weeks, including major reports such as fourth quarter gross domestic product (GDP), personal consumption expenditure (PCE) inflation, and the January employment situation report. We will discuss the impact of each individual report in more detail later, but overall the data deluge has signaled that the U.S. economy remains on stable footing. Signs of rising inflation were present in all three reports, which is one of the factors behind both stock and bond weakness over the past week. However, we would remind investors that, for nowat least, inflation readings remain below the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) 2.0% target, and we would need to see continued acceleration before we would expect a more aggressive path of Fed rate hikes.

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