The US TIPS curve has become inverted

By Sober Look

The US inflation indexed treasury curve (TIPS curve) has inverted sharply in the short end. The one-year TIPS yield went from negative 2.5% to zero in a matter of four months. The one-year treasury (nominal) yield on the other hand has held fairly steady near zero (between 12bp and 20bp over the past 4 months). That means that the market is now pricing near zero percent inflation over the next year (down from over 2.6% expected just 4 months ago!) – as near-term inflation expectations collapse. We haven’t seen this since 2009.

TIPS curve now, a month ago, and 4 months ago

One could argue that this is a positive development for the US consumer because it could mean price stability. However this move in TIPS certainly raises the risk of near-term deflation, driven by weak demand growth. And deflation is notoriously difficult to get under control. This feels (though only in the near term) a bit like Japan, a nation quite familiar with zero to negative inflation expectations.

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Sober Look is a no-hype financial markets/macro blog that typically relies on data analysis, primary sources, and original materials. We keep it concise, to the point, with no self-promoting nonsense, and no long-winded opinions. If you are looking for Armageddon predictions or conspiracy theories, you will be thoroughly disappointed. Topics include financial markets, banking, asset management, risk management, derivatives, global economy, policy, and regulation, with the emphasis on finance education. Follow him on his blog or twitter.