Macro Briefing: 22 May 2024

* Fed’s Waller wants ‘several months’ of good inflation data before rate cuts
* Biden to release 1 million barrels of gasoline from reserves to reduce prices
* US single-family rent overall edged up again in March vs. year-ago level
* AI will be a bullish factor for stocks for the next decade: former Cisco CEO
* Rally in junk bonds reflects bets for soft US economic landing:

Why were so many forecasts of US recession wrong? The key reason: resilient consumer spending, writes Ed Yardeni of Yardeni Research. “The economy also turned out to be more resilient than economists expected, mostly because consumer spending continued to grow,” he opines. “Many households benefited from higher rates on their bank deposits and money market funds. Many also had refinanced their home mortgages at record low rates during 2020 and 2021.”
He adds: “Most importantly, the baby boom generation has started to retire with a record $76tn in net worth. They are spending on restaurants, cruises, travelling and healthcare. All these services industries have been expanding their payrolls, thus boosting real incomes, and fuelling more spending. The goods sector of the economy has been in a growth recession since about March 2021, following the buying binge that occurred when the lockdown was lifted. Nevertheless, spending on goods has remained at a record high on an inflation-adjusted basis.”

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