By Nathalie Voit

Sustained inflation continues to fuel market pessimism. According to FactSet data released on June 10, mentions of “inflation” across S&P 500 conference call transcripts for the first quarter surged to a fresh 12-year high.

The financial research firm said the term “inflation” was mentioned by 417 S&P 500 companies during their Q1 earnings calls. FactSet noted the figure is well above the five-year average of 155 and the highest number of mentions since at least 2010. The first fiscal quarter from March 15 through June 10 also saw the highest percentage of S&P 500 companies citing the term “inflation” on quarterly earnings calls at 86% (417 out of 487).

FactSet said the previous record was set last quarter when 357 S&P 500 companies cited “inflation” in Q4 2021.

The sectors with the highest number of companies that brought up “inflation” during this period were the Industrials (65), Consumer Discretionary (57), and Financials (55) sectors. The Materials (100%), Consumer Staples (97%), and Consumer Discretionary (97%) industries have the highest percentage of firms that cited “inflation” on earnings calls for Q1.  

The news comes as consumer prices accelerated the most in over four decades in May, according to data from the Labor Department released on June 10.