Goldman’s Clients Are Confused About Inflation: Here’s Why

In his latest weekly kickstart, Goldman’s chief equity strategist David Kostin (who has maintained his year end S&P price target of 2,400 of -3% from current levels), says that the one topic most confusing (and important) to Goldman’s clients in the past week, was what happens to inflation next: “the US inflation outlook and its equity investment implications were key topics of discussion during recent visits with clients in Boston, Chicago, and New York. Core Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) data released [on Friday] showed a year/year inflation rate of 1.5% in 2Q. Wednesday’s Fed statement acknowledged that inflation was running ‘below’ its 2% target, a revision from the ‘somewhat below’ description used previously.”
Kostin points out that while fixed income managers have always had to take a view on inflation, now that the Fed’s “reaction function”, to use an IMF-ism, is entirely driven by concurrent and future inflation expectations, and as a result “equity investors must also take a stand and position portfolios accordingly. The anticipated path of inflation is an important determinant of the trajectory of Fed policy tightening. Bond yields will be affected in turn via expectations of future hikes and the term premium, and stock prices by extension will be influenced through the equity risk premium.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 30, 2017.