PCE Inflation Joins The Ho-Hum Chorus; What's up With Money Supply?

The two reports most capable of surprising the market this week were Thursday's GDP and Friday's PCE.  While it's always good to maintain some respect for potential surprises, weren't looking for any major revelations in terms of the market's reaction.  By some combination of their 2nd tier nature and the fact that they came in close to consensus, these reports caused no regret for those who hit the snooze button on this week's volatility risk. In short, this week has been every bit the snooze-fest we suspected it might be.  Yields have been locked in an even narrower version of the 3.42-3.62 range set in early December (this week's ceiling is more like 3.56%). Seeing as how the range is boring, let's turn to something slightly more interesting.  There has been a seemingly newsworthy development in the economic metric known as "Money Supply."  It declined in year-over-year terms for the first time ever this week.  Big news, right? Disclaimer: this is not something we've been focused on, nor is it something we think anyone should pay attention to, but it's a topic that used to seem quite important decades ago and it refuses to die.  Periodically, it will be given quite a bit of coverage in financial media and even make the rounds among analysts/traders.  Now is one of those times.  Some analysts think it matters.  Most bring it up simply to shoot it down.  The latter is basically what's going on in the following chart.   So if you find yourself at a social gathering this weekend and your friend who reads all those obscure financial newsletters, etc, remind them about the unprecedented spike in money supply that preceded this drop.  While you're at it, maybe mention that financial scholars and practitioners who have even a shred of humility all agree that our understanding of money supply and its merit as a valuable economic indicator are, at best, debatable.  If that doesn't work, maybe point out the extremely variable relationship between money supply and inflation.


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