The US Debt Deal & The Fed, What It Means For Bond Investors

Late last week, after a brief government shutdown, Congress passed and the President signed into law a short-term budget and debt cap increase that will keep the U.S. government running until early 2014.  The brief shutdown and the uncertainty it created will likely drag on what was already expected to be a disappointing growth number for Q4 GDP.  Government-tracked economic numbers such as unemployment will be inaccurate for many months to come, as data collection was halted and data were lost during the shutdown.  In this context, bond investors now consider a tapering of QE3 unlikely in 2013, which has pushed intermediate bond prices higher.  SNWAM believes that, with U.S. wages stagnant, inflation mild, the U.S. consumer unwilling or unable to re-lever to pre-crisis levels, federal spending unlikely to grow and businesses only modestly increasing domestic capital spending, the new U.S. economic normal looks very likely to continue well into 2014, leaving U.S. Treasury bond prices range-bound for now.