This Weekly Market Update reviews the top market headlines: Inflation Remains Elevated in September, Retail Sales Rise in September, IMF Cuts Global Economic Growth Forecast

Top Three Market Headlines

Inflation Remains Elevated in September: The U.S. Department of Labor reported last week that September's Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.4% from the prior month and 5.4% from a year ago, both slightly ahead of expectations and marginally higher than the rates reported in August. The "core" CPI, which excludes the volatile food and energy categories, increased 0.2% on the month, also up modestly from August, and was up 4.0% from the prior year, equal to the prior month. Compared to last year, consumers continue to experience higher prices across a broad range of sectors, including used cars, gasoline, meats, appliances, shoes, and rent.

Retail Sales Rise in September: Sales at retail establishments rose for the second straight month in September, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Data showed that sales at online retailers, restaurants, and brick-and-mortar stores increased 0.7% from the prior month, following a 0.9% rise in August. Categories showing the largest gains in September included restaurants and bars, gasoline, sporting goods, music, and bookstores. Economists warn, however, that current supply-chain disruptions are spreading beyond the recently impacted auto industry to other retail outlets and could potentially weigh on sales later this year.

IMF Cuts Global Economic Growth Forecast: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) last week trimmed its forecast for 2021 global economic growth to 5.9%, down from 6.0% forecasted in July. Its projection for U.S. growth fell to 6.0% from 7.0%. Primary drivers for the lowered growth estimate included the Covid-19 delta variant as well as persistent supply chain constraints. The group also raised its 2021 inflation outlook for advanced economies to 2.8%, and while it maintained the view that inflation will return to pre-pandemic levels by mid-2022, it also cautioned that "inflation risks are skewed to the upside."

As of October 18, 2021
Week Quarter-To-Date Year-To-Date One-Year
MSCI All Country World 2.16% 3.34% 14.83% 27.82%
S&P 500 1.84% 3.86% 20.40% 30.27%
Russell 2000 1.47% 2.81% 15.57% 39.62%
MSCI EAFE 2.42% 1.93% 10.44% 27.08%
MSCI Emerging Markets 2.13% 2.47% 1.19% 16.90%
FTSE NAREIT 3.96% 5.45% 29.85%
Bloomberg Commodity 2.06% 3.94% 34.22% 42.69%
Barclays U.S. Aggregate 0.33% -0.17% -1.72% -1.09%

WSJ 10/15/2021. Department of Labor 10/13/2021, WSJ 10/13/2021; WSJ 10/12/2021, CNBC 11/12/2021. Data from Morningstar Direct. Returns for periods greater than one year are annualized. Investment advisory, named and independent fiduciary services are offered through Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Adviser. Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC does not express an investment opinion regarding any specific commodity, sector or individual security. Unless otherwise expressly noted, the contents of this communication do not constitute securities or investment advice, nor should this communication be construed as an opinion regarding the appropriateness of any investment. Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC is a single-member, limited-liability company, with Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc. as its single member. Neither Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC nor their affiliates provide accounting, legal or tax advice. The information provided cannot take into account all the various factors that may affect your particular situation, therefore you should consult your Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors consultant before acting upon any information or recommendation contained herein to discuss the suitability of the information/recommendation for your specific situation.