The Next Big Adjustment Will Be In Rates

By Bryan Rich

January 22, 9:00 am EST

Last week we talked about the big adjustment we should expect to come in the inflation picture. With oil above $60 and looking like much higher prices are coming, and with corporate tax cuts set to fuel the first material growth in wages we’ve seen in a long time (if not three decades), this chart (inflation expectations) should start moving higher…

And with that, market interest rates should finally make a move. As we discussed last week, we will likely have a 10-year yield with a “3” in front of it before long.

Yields have already popped nearly a quarter point since the beginning of the year. But that’s just (finally) reflecting the December Fed rate hike. What hasn’t been reflected in rates, as it has in stocks, is the different growth and wage pressure outlook this year, thanks to the tax cut. Last year, people could argue it wasn’t going to happen. This year, it’s in motion. And the impact is already showing up. We should expect it to show in the inflation data, sooner rather than later.

With that, today we’re knocking on the door of a big breakout in rates (as you can see in the chart below) — which comes in at 2.65%…

As we’ve discussed, the anchor for the benchmark U.S. 10-year yield (and for global rates), even in the face of a more optimistic global economic growth outlook, has been Japan’s unlimited QE (driven by its policy to peg its 10-year at a yield of zero). On that note, last week, the former head of the central bank in India, Raghuram Rajan (a highly respected former central banker), said he thinks both Europe and Japan will exit emergency policies sooner than people think. That’s a positive statement on the global economy and a warning that global rates should finally start moving.

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