The Fed went another step further this week in telegraphing a long period of accommodative policy and low rates with an announcement that they expect near-zero rates through 2023 and will look to achieve inflation moderately above 2% “for some time” before raising rates again.
The Index of the top 10 U.S. leading economic indicators, published by the Conference Board, increased 1.2% in August, slightly less than expected (1.3%), and at a slower rate than July (1.4%). On a year-over-year basis, the index is still 4.7% lower.
Consumer sentiment jumped up to 78.9 (versus 74.1 last month) and beat expectations handily in preliminary September figures. This represents a six month high as conditions continue to improve slowly though we’re still at levels seen in the late portion of the GFC recovery. Both the measure of current conditions as well as expectations increased.
Jobless claims improved last week, down to 860K from 884K the week prior, but obviously still at incredibly high levels historically.