Read the highlights of this week’s commentary from Helios:
- In February, inflation rose 0.4% in the month and 6.0% over the prior year. Core inflation, which excludes food and energy, rose 0.5% in the month and 5.5% over the prior year. While the fall in headline figures versus January’s report is welcome, both the rate of improvement and the stubborn core numbers continue to put the Fed in a difficult spot, especially with the issues in the banking sector over the last couple of weeks.
- Consumer sentiment fell in the University of Michigan’s preliminary March survey, switching direction following three months of improvement. The survey concluded before the fall of Silicon Valley Bank, making it more likely the final reading for March may worsen.
- Retail sales fell 0.4% in February, in line with economists’ expectations and giving back some of January’s 3.2% (revised upward) jump. Consumers appear to be cutting back and more interest rate-sensitive categories such as cars and building materials, which fell 2.0% and 0.1%, respectively.
- Global banking turmoil continued with UBS agreeing to buy troubled Swiss bank Credit Suisse for $3.25B over the weekend.
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