Fear Overcomes Bravado

QI TAKEAWAY —  The inflation hysteria is hard to ignore. The slowing economy in the background, however, commands a louder message. We appreciate how far behind the curve the Fed is. That’s precisely why we reiterate our flattening call originated May 10th, when the Street was ALL IN on the steepener trade. The economy slowing sans the fourth stimulus check trumps all other factors to the plus side.

  1. The record 4.3 million U.S. workers who quit in September total 3.0% of total employment, a sign of increasing worker confidence; geographically, quits were highest in the South at 3.3%, and were outsized in food/accommodation and arts/entertainment at 6.6% and 5.7%
  2. Though off a record high 7%, job openings still remain at an extraordinarily high 6.6% of total employment; however, per UMich’s most recent survey, Current Conditions slumped to 73.2, an August 2011 low, while Expectations slid further to 66.8, an October 2013 low
  3. Buying conditions for household goods slipped to a 78 in UMich’s latest read, the lowest since 1978; and despite a record number of quits, one in four households anticipate being worse off in 12 months and the Democrat-Republican expectations divide hit a new high