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Data: Investing.com; Chart: Axios Visuals

The core consumer price index, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, fell 0.4% in April, the biggest drop in the index on record, dating back to 1957. Compared with April of last year, the core CPI rose 1.4%, the smallest annual gain since 2011.

The state of play: March's core CPI reading was also negative, marking the first back-to-back negative prints since 1982.

What it means: "Economic models, as well as lived experience, tell us that prices should be falling with demand in free-fall, and in today’s release it is clear that they are," AllianceBernstein senior economist Eric Winograd says in an email.

  • "Inflation is not the focus of the market, nor of policy-makers, for now or for the foreseeable future."

Yes, but: That may be a mistake, says BlackRock’s CIO of global fixed income Rick Rieder.

  • "There’s a danger in merely extrapolating recent trends, and we think 2020’s broad deflationary influences may well lead to higher rates of inflation next year," he says in a note to clients.
  • "We think that even a modest re-setting of oil prices over the next 18 months could drive 2021 inflation in a manner that offsets some of the declines occurring now."

Between the lines: Both Rieder and Winograd see the "monumental" policy response from the Fed and the government as likely to drive inflation well above levels currently priced in by the market, which Rieder calls "unrealistic and excessively pessimistic."

  • David Zervos, chief market strategist at Jefferies, goes further, asserting that "the extraordinary policy response to COVID-19 marks the beginning of the end of the disinflationary era in existence since the early 1980s."

Go deeper: The federal government's coronavirus response risks spiking inflation

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Aug 17, 2020 - Economy & Business

Consumer sentiment isn't jumping alongside stock prices

Data: University of Michigan; Chart: Axios Visuals

While Wall Street has gotten more excited about the economy since March, U.S. household sentiment remains "depressed," says Jon Hill, rates strategist at BMO Capital Markets.

Driving the news: The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index is still near its lowest since 2013.

Trump gives farewell address: "We did what we came here to do"

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump will give a farewell video address on Tuesday, saying that his administration "did what we came here to do – and so much more."

Why it matters, via Axios' Alayna Treene: The address is very different from the Trump we've seen in his final weeks as president — one who has been refusing to accept his loss, who peddled conspiracy theories that fueled the attack on the Capitol, and who is boycotting his successor's inauguration. 

Dave Lawler, author of World
16 mins ago - World

Europeans have high hopes for Joe Biden

Data: Pew Research Center; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Joe Biden's inauguration will be greeted with enthusiasm in Europe, with three new polls making clear that most Europeans can't wait to bid Donald Trump adieu.

The big picture: Europeans generally expect brighter days ahead under Biden, according to the polls, but his election has not fully assuaged doubts about U.S. democracy and global leadership.

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