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Please see below article received from EPIC Investment Partners this morning, which provides an update on both US and UK markets.

Yesterday, Janet Yellen expressed confidence that the US economy will not require significant hikes from the current level to curb inflation, believing the economy is on a path towards achieving the Fed’s desired soft landing with the unemployment rate averting a sharp increase. 

“Signs are very good that we’ll achieve a soft landing, with unemployment stabilising more or less where it is, or in the general vicinity,” Yellen stated, speaking to reporters following a speech at a lithium processing plant in North Carolina. 

Yellen added she doesn’t believe the Federal Reserve will need to push as harshly in lowering inflation as it has done in past instances when price rises ran out of control. “Those recessions you’ve talked about were times when the Fed, similar to now, was tightening policy to bring down inflation, but found it necessary to tighten so much that they flipped the economy into a recession,” Yellen said. Adding: “Perhaps it was necessary in order to reduce inflation and expectations of inflation that became ingrained, but we don’t need that now.” 

Helping cement that view were the PCE deflator figures, released yesterday. The Fed’s preferred metric for assessing progress on its inflation mandate showed core softening to 0.2%mom, in-line with expectations and below last month’s 0.3% print. Moreover, the measure eased from 3.7%yoy, in October, to 3.5%yoy last month, again in-line with the market consensus.  

Here in the UK, we also see the housing market continuing to defy forecasts by some of a sharp correction. House prices climbed for a third straight month according to Nationwide, as a lack of properties and lower borrowing costs underpinned the market. House prices rose by 0.2% in November, against an expectation for a drop of 0.4%.  

Following the release, Robert Gardner, the Nationwide’s Chief Economist, said: “There has been a significant change in market expectations for the future path of Bank Rate in recent months which, if sustained, could provide much needed support for housing market activity”. 

House prices are roughly 5.5% lower from where they peaked in August 2022. Many had predicted a 10% fall this year with some outliers going for 20%, even 25% lower. The average cost of a house in the UK is now just over £258,500.  

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