The signal from the Federal Reserve that they plan to skip hiking at the June meeting came as a surprise to markets, perhaps because traders were focused on data from statistics agencies.
The Fed pulls from a wide range of data and speaks to many contacts. They may be growing increasingly confident that a slowdown is imminent.
Two less-traditional data points show the same thing and the first is restaurant reservations, which are soft and appear to be slowing further in June.
A second warning sign comes from one of Alan Greenspan's favourites -- cardboard box shipments. I'm not terribly surprised that they're falling, given the bullwhip effect but the decline undoubtedly confirms that goods won't be a significant source of inflationary pressure in the months ahead.
I don't expect the Fed to hike in June but the big question from Powell will be whether he opens the door to a more-extended pause or a one-and-done in July. That would be a green light for risk assets and I don't think it would be long before the market seriously mulls cuts, especially with 3% inflation coming.
h/t @DisruptorStocks for the box chart.