Now that commodity prices have declined to multi-year lows and the U.S. dollar is picking up some momentum, U.S. inflation expectations are being depressed. If deflationary pressures persist, investors can turn to some assets and exchange traded funds to hedge risks.
The U.S. Federal Reserve tracks the five-year inflation expectations to guide its outlook. The so-called 5yr/5yr breakeven rate is currently hovering around 2.15%, its lowest level since September 2011, which was just before “Operation Twist,” and a little above the financial crisis low of 1.95% in December 2008, Financial Times reports.
“At current levels this indicator is bound to gain some attention among US officials, especially if it shows persistence at levels near 2 per cent,” Alan Ruskin, a strategist at Deutsche Bank, said in the article.
Albert Edwards, a noted bear at Societe Generale, warns that an “Ice Age” could grip the markets as the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank fail to prevent deflationary pressure.
Nevertheless, investors who are concerned about the risks associated with a deflationary environment have some ETF options available.