July 1, 2019

Chart of the Week: Fathom’s U.S. ESI rebounds in May

by Fathom Consulting.

U.S. business and consumer sentiment increased to a six-month high in May, according to Fathom’s US Economic Sentiment Indicator (US ESI). The index climbed from 3.8% to 4.7%; 19 of the 23 components posting stronger readings than the previous month with 18 above their long-run average. As discussed in our recent Global Economic and Markets Outlook we think that investors are overestimating the probability of the Fed cutting rates this year (one 25 basis point cut now seems possible, although not three as priced in by the market) — last week’s ESI reading supports that view. Admittedly, inflationary pressures have remained somewhat subdued and we think that GDP growth is set to slow from an annualised pace of 3.1% in Q1, but we do not think that it will slow enough to warrant a rate cut, or to spur the Fed into imminent action, as many investors seem to expect.

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