FEBRUARY 12, 2024 – The January report came in at 3.1%, just below my forecast of 3.2%-3.3%. and above the consensus estimate of 2.9%.
The 3-month annualized inflation rate is 1.0%. The 6-month annualized inflation rate is 1.8%. These figures are lower than the annualized rate (3.1%) and thus indicate the annual CPI should drift lower.
The data is predicting a reading between 2.6% and 2.7% next month. Like last month, I think this will be way off. Inflation is historically high in January and February. I am going to forecast 3.0%-3.1% for next month’s figure.
ECONOMY – We have had 6 straight quarters of above 2% GDP growth since the recession in the first half of 2022 ended. The last two quarters have been above 3% (!) and some forecasts expect another 3%+ figure for the First Quarter of 2024. With annual population growth around 0.7%, any GDP growth above that amount is exceptional. The chance of a recession occurring this year remains slim to nil. It certainly won’t occur in the first half of this year.
STOCKS – The Dow 30 continues its march towards 40,000. I never did see anyone else predict 40,000 this year. I suspect there are a few others like me out there somewhere. As they saay, never count your chickens before they hatch. 38k+ is not 40k. But, the stock market is saying the economy this Summer should be extremely strong.
The recession mongers couldn’t have been more wrong for the past 20 months. They will continue to be wrong into the foreseeable future.
The Mann