Interest Rate Roundup

Friday, January 19, 2007

Consumer confidence pop

The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index had quite a pop in January -- to 98 from 91.7 in December. Both the outlook and current conditions indices rose. The inflation expectations reading ticked up to 3% from 2.9% a month earlier. This is the highest the Michigan index has been since January 2004.

Confidence indicators tend to track stock prices, as near as I can tell, and they don't do a heck of a good job at forecasting the overall economy or spending levels. But taken together with all the other reports this week, this one kicks more sand in the face of those expecting some kind of imminent Fed rate cut.

Bonds are taking a bit of a hit on the number, but as I pointed out yesterday, prices are coming into an area of key technical support. Was this good economic news already "priced in?" We'll see how Treasuries close the day.


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