APRIL 14, 2023 – As I said a month ago, I thought the data was forecasting a higher rate than we would see. Sure enough, annual inflation fell significantly to 5.0%. Just under my forecast of 5.1%-5.3%.
The 3-month annualized inflation rate is a very high 6.9%. The 6-month annualized inflation rate is 3.4%. These figures bracket the annualized rate (5.0%) and thus indicate the decline in the annual CPI should slow down.
Based on the data, my prediction for next month’s figure is 5.0%-5.1%. My gut tells me this will be the ceiling with a rate as low as 4.6% possible.
The June and July readings will reflect significant declines in the annual CPI. As for the July 12th forecast, the data now suggests a ceiling around 3%. The odds for a figure around 2% have become very small. It is looking like we might have 3%-4% inflation for the second half of the year. It will take a recession combined with deflation to achieve the Fed’s goal of sub-2% inflation. That said, 3%-4% is far below the double-digit rates many people have been forecasting for the past year.
Regarding banks, week after week goes by without any closures. At this point, we are much closer to my forecast of 0-10 closures than the 176-200 closures forecast by many people. CRE loan losses are on their way. But, I just don’t see many banks failing because of such. Simply due to increased capital from 15 years ago and the Fed shoring up their unrealized treasury bond losses.
The Regional Bank Index (KRE) remains about 3%-5% above the low set the Monday after the SVB/SBNY closings. The maximum drawdown since then was about 1.5%. Not much movement in general. But, the market certainly hasn’t thrown in the towel on these banks.
Lastly, the market is telling the Fed to raise rates another 25bp and then later this year lower them twice.