Inflation Lingering?

How much longer do you think “inflation” will be the topic du jour.  Covid was the lead topic for what seemed an endless amount of time, and still lingering.

Last week the Consumer Price Index month to month increase without food and energy, was reported higher by .3%.  Annualized going forward, 3.6%.

The CPI with food and energy spiked higher as oil which began the year at $80/barrel, traded down in the 60’s, now sits over $90/barrel.

Unfortunately, we cannot control the price of oil.  It’s impact on inflation is somewhat out of our control.  When OPEC and Russia decide to cut production between now and the end of 2023, which they have, the price of oil rises unless demand suddenly drops.  Rising oil, leads to rising gas prices.  Practically every item we purchase needs to be transported, using oil/gas.

Let’s hope the Fed’s rate hikes have in fact injected sufficient medicine to control inflation.  Many say it takes 6 to 18 months for rate hikes to impact the economy.  What takes place economically between now and year-end should provide more answers to our inflation challenges!

Fed Announcement Week

On Wednesday we’ll hear our Federal Reserve’s decision on interest rates.  Most expect the Fed to sit tight, with the discount rate currently in the range of 5.25% to 5.50%.  At this meeting, the Fed will release its “dot plot”, which contains the members of the Fed’s individual assessments of where they see interest rates headed over the next several years. 

At this meeting, the Fed will also provide an updated forecast on our Gross Domestic Product (GDP), unemployment and inflation outlook.

Markets for the Week

Last week the market indexes were mixed with the Dow up .10%, the S&P 500, Nasdaq, and Russell 2000 down less than .50% each.  Utilities came to life, up 2.68% for the week, still down (6.45%) for the year.  Something to watch?

Over the pond, foreign stocks showed minimal life, rising 1.41% and emerging market stocks up 1.03%.

Bond yields are treading around recent highs with the 10-year yield finishing Friday @ 4.336%.

UAW on strike!

The UAW and the 3 auto manufacturers continue to negotiate, however no end in sight.  I’m writing this blog on Sunday afternoon, so there is a good chance information will change by tomorrow.  Let’s hope the UAW and the manufacturers can get this done quickly. We’ve already had our share of supply disruptions!!!

Medicare Open Enrollment soon

It’s almost that time again.  Medicare’s open enrollment period will begin October 15th and run through December 7th

Those of you on Medicare or approaching Medicare will be reminded constantly by commercials on television, social media, in the mail and more. 

In the coming weeks I’ll include the facts of what changes can be made during your annual open enrollment period.

Everyone on Medicare should make time on their calendars to review your extremely important health coverage.  As always, we are here to discuss your options and provide information you need to make good decisions.

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