The core Personal Consumption Expenditures Index, the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation, picked up in May by 0.2% from April. That took the annual inflation rate to 1.6%. That was just above the median estimate from economists surveyed by Bloomberg and still way under the Fed’s target of 2% inflation.
But if you look at just the most recent months, the three-month increase–annualized– hit 2%, a five month high.
That could be a signal that inflation is gaining momentum. Which would, of course, throw all those projections about two or three interest rate cuts in 2019–starting at the July 31 meeting–into a cocked hat.
On the other hand, today’s data showed a weakening economy. Consumer sentiment fell in June from an eight-month high. The Chicago Fed’s gauge of the Midwest economy fell to its lowest level since 2010.
The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury fell one basis point to 2%. The 2-year Treasury note at a yield of 1.74% continues to hang near the 1.75% level seen for the past week.