Households Hitting Budgetary Breaking Point

QI TAKEAWAY —   Consumer Discretionary has been on a tear, fueled by aspirational buyers and those on the receiving end of the Fed’s trickle up policies. Taking some profits in the sector could prove prudent.

  1. Per Bank of America, the percentage change in inflation-adjusted grocery spending on a 2-year basis slipped further into contraction in October; while food inflation appears to be leveling off at high levels, per the CRB, higher prices are driving nominal gains in card spend
  2. On an inflation-adjusted basis, growth in goods spending reached a massive 40% last spring, while a third stimulus check helped boost services spending 20%; against the current pricing backdrop, UMich Real Household Income Expectations in 1-2 years are now at 5-year lows
  3. The aggregate of Current Inventories from the NY, PHL, and KC Fed’s manufacturing surveys, as a z-score, is just below a 20-year high; meanwhile, Current Prices Paid continue to push upward as demand pulled forward exacerbates ongoing supply chain challenges