The latest reading for the Zillow Index of US rents shows no letup in the worst bout of housing inflation in US history. Year on year, the average US rent rose 14%, according to the real estate website. That should worry equity investors, who have watched the NASDAQ give up nearly 8% of its value during the past week as bond yields rose.
Shelter accounts for a third of the US government’s Consumer Price Index, but the official numbers have lagged far behind private-sector surveys. Lagged data reporting means that today’s observed price increases will ratchet into faster CPI inflation months from now, putting more pressure on the US Federal Reserve to tighten credit. That’s bad for stocks.