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Bond market is flashing a warning sign that a recession may be coming


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A warning signal is being sent by the bond market for the U.S. Economy.

An “inverted yield curve” is used to describe this harbinger. This inversion in the bond market has been a reliable indicator of future recessions. The yield curve is a part of it inverted on Monday.

But, an economic downturn can’t be ruled out. Some economists feel the warning is exaggerated.  

These are the things you need to know.

What is an inverted yield-curve?

It is a warning sign.

Inversions in the yield curve don’t necessarily trigger recession. Roth stated that it indicates bond investors’ concern about the long-term outlook of the economy.

The spread between these two figures is the most important thing for investors. 2-yearU.S. Treasury 10-year U.S. Treasury. The warning signal is still not yet visible on the curve.

However, 5-yearAnd 30-yearU.S. Treasury yields were inverted Monday first timeSince 2006, prior to the Great Recession.

Roth spoke out about the inversions, saying that it doesn’t necessarily mean there will be a recession. It is a sign of concern about the economy’s future.

Roth reports that the Treasury yield curves for 2- and 10-year Treasury bonds were reversed before seven recent recessions, which occurred between 1970-70.

If a recession does happen, however data suggests it is not likely. A downturn would have to take an average of 17 months from the bond-market index inversion before it could start. (Roth considers the double-dip recession of the 1980s to be one downturn in Roth’s analysis.

She said that 1998 was the false alarm. Roth stated that the inversion occurred right before the Covid-19 epidemic, however it is also possible to consider this a false alarm since bond investors could not have foreseen such a crisis.

“It doesn’t work all of the time, but it has a high success rate for portending a future recession,” said Brian Luke, head of fixed income for the Americas at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Bonds and interest rates

A yield-curve underversion is not magical. The yield-curve inversion isn’t a light switch.

Preston Caldwell

Morningstar’s head of U.S. economy

Short-term yields have risen as a result. Long-term bond yields have also been rising, though not to the same extent.

As of Monday, the yield of 10-year Treasury bonds was 0.133% lower than those of 2-year bonds. It was much higher (0.8%) in 2022.

According to market analysts, investors are concerned by a “hard landing”. It could occur if the Fed raises rates too quickly to contain inflation or accidentally triggers a downturn.

To stimulate economic growth, the Fed reduces its benchmark interest rate during downturns. Individuals and businesses can borrow less if they lower their rates, but raising them will have the opposite effect.

An inverted yield curve means that investors are pricing in the possibility of a Fed rate reduction in the long term.

Preston Caldwell of Morningstar’s U.S. Economics said, “It is the bond market trying understand the future course of interest rates.”

Treasury bonds can be considered safe assets because the United States is not likely to default on its debt. Luke stated that investors fleeing to safety and higher demand for longer-term bonds can also suppress their yield.

Is recession likely?

Recession is not a certainty.

There is a possibility that the Federal Reserve will adjust its interest-rate policies appropriately to achieve its goal for a “soft landing,” which means it lowers inflation while not causing an economic contraction. It is possible that the war in Ukraine has complicated matters, causing a spike in commodities such as food and oil prices.

Caldwell said that there’s nothing magical in a yield curve inversion, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that the economy will shrink. It’s not like a switch has been flipped.

Many economists are now adjusting their economic forecasts. J.P. Morgan estimates that the chances of recession are between 30% and 35%. This is higher than the historic average of 15% Roth stated.