The reflation scenario that markets have been hoping for since mid-December is very sensitive. It needs just enough growth but not too much inflation, because this would run the risk of a sudden change in monetary policy. And the high valuations prevailing on the world’s stock and bond markets would probably not survive such a change. Last month’s employment report was rather negative in this regard, with a relatively mediocre rate of new job creation accompanied by an acceleration in wages. Although modest, this movement toward higher wages convinced many market observers that there was an increased risk that the Fed would raise its rates quicker than expected (for more on this topic, please see Slightly more jobs and wages in the USA, but much more risk for the bond market, dated February 2).
Today’s report was much better, maybe even good enough to suggest the dawn of a more virtuous phase of the US business cycle.
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