Low for longer

EVER since the financial crisis of 2008, forecasters have scanned the horizon for the next big disruption. There are plenty of candidates for 2016. China’s economy, whose might acted as a counterweight to the slump in the rich world in the years after the crisis, is now itself a worry. Other emerging markets, notably Brazil, remain in a deep funk. The sell-off in the high-yield-debt market in December has prompted fears of a broader re-pricing of corporate credit this year.

Yet one worry is absent: financial markets are priced for continued low inflation or “lowflation”. A synthetic measure, derived from bond prices, puts expected consumer-price inflation in America in five years’ time at around 1.8%. That translates into an inflation rate of around 1.3% on the price index for personal-consumption expenditure (PCE), the measure on which the Federal Reserve bases its 2% inflation target. Ten-year bond yields are just 2.3% in America, and are below 2% in Britain and below 1% in much of the rest of Europe. The price of an ounce of gold, a common hedge against inflation, has fallen to $1,070, far below its peak in 2011 of $1,900. Yet market expectations...

via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

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