Investors will be focused on the Federal Reserve this week and our expectation is that it will finally announce an overdue tapering of quantitative easing. In addition, we expect Chairman Jerome Powell to make it clear in the press conference that he expects tapering to be completed by mid-2022.
Inflation is clearly a problem. The CPI is up 5.4% from a year ago. When October data arrive the year-ago comparison will likely be 5.7%, the largest increase since the early 1990s. Some of this is "transitory," but not all of it, not by a long shot. Housing rents were held down artificially until early September, due to limits on evictions. Once nationwide eviction limits ended, rents escalated in September and we expect more of the same for the foreseeable future. That's important because rents make up more than 30% of the CPI.