U.S. Inflation: No Heartbreak from Strong January CPI
A Note about Risk: The value of investments in fixed-income securities will change as interest rates fluctuate and in response to market movements. As interest rates fall, the prices of debt securities tend to rise, and as interest rates rise, the prices of debt securities tend to fall. Investments in inflation-linked derivatives and other types of derivatives is exposed to the risk that the value of a derivative instrument does not move in correlation to the value of an underlying security, market index or interest rate, or moves in an opposite direction. Investing in derivatives also involves greater liquidity, leverage, and counterparty risk. Bonds may also be subject to other types of risk, such as call, credit, liquidity, interest-rate, and general market risks. Moreover, the specific collateral used to secure a loan may decline in value or become illiquid, which would adversely affect the loan’s value. Longer-term debt securities are usually more sensitive to interest-rate changes. The longer the maturity date of a security, the greater the effect a change in interest rates is likely to have on its price.
Market forecasts and projections are based on current market conditions and are subject to change without notice. No investing strategy can overcome all market volatility or guarantee future results.
This commentary may contain assumptions that are “forward-looking statements,” which are based on certain assumptions of future events. Actual events are difficult to predict and may differ from those assumed. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will materialize or that actual returns or results will not be materially different from those described here.
Statements concerning financial market trends are based on current market conditions, which will fluctuate. There is no guarantee that markets will perform in a similar manner under similar conditions in the future.
Treasuries are debt securities issued by the U.S. government and secured by its full faith and credit. Income from Treasury securities is exempt from state and local taxes. Although U.S. government securities are guaranteed as to payments of interest and principal, their market prices are not guaranteed and will fluctuate in response to market movements.
TIPS (Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities) are U.S. Treasury securities indexed to inflation in order to protect investors from the negative effects of inflation. The principal of a TIP is adjusted according to the CPI-U. With a rise in the index, or inflation, the principal increases. With a fall in the index, or deflation, the principal decreases. Though the rate is fixed and paid semi-annually, interest payments vary because the rate is applied to the adjusted principal. Specifically, the amount of each interest payment is determined by multiplying the adjusted principal by one-half the interest rate. Upon maturity, TIPS pay the original or adjusted principal amount, whichever is greater. Because TIPS are adjusted for inflation, a change in real interest rates (but not nominal interest rates) will affect the value of TIPS. When real interest rates rise, the value of TIPS will decline, and when real interest rates fall, the value of TIPS will rise.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures the price changes f or each item in a predetermined basket of goods and services, and the inputs are weighted according to their importance to consumers.
CPI swaps are derivative instruments used to hedge inflation risk by transferring inflation risk from one party to another through an exchange of cash flows.
Duration is a measure of the sensitivity of the price of a fixed-income asset to a change in interest rates and is expressed in years.
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