From the desk of Willie Delwiche.
- Commodities prices are encouraging sign of growth rather than troublesome indicator of inflation
- Despite hiccups global economic recovery gains traction
- Bonds could test Fed’s willingness to let economy run hot
Rising commodity prices are getting plenty of attention right now, with most of the focus being the inflationary impacts of these recent moves. For context, the CRB commodity index was hitting two-decade lows this time last year as economic uncertainty spiked amid COVID-related shutdowns. Now, with fiscal stimulus providing liquidity and the Fed hoping for the opportunity to let the economy run hot, commodities across the board have broken out to new multi-year highs. Copper bottomed in March 2020, completing a 40% decline from its early 2018 peak (and matching its 2016 low). It has since doubled, reaching its highest level since 2011. Oil prices are back to where they peaked in 2019 and lumber prices are three times higher than they were a year ago.