If one is looking for a deflationary signal about the US economy, a good place to start might be with Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities, known as TIPS. The US Treasury Department sold $15 billion in 10-year TIPS today at a negative yield of -0.637%, the fourth auction in a row to post a negative yield.
Offers to buy totaled 2.62 times the amount of debt sold, below the average of 2.77 times at the previous six auctions. Foreign central banks and other indirect bidders bought 44.2% of the TIPS on offer, and direct bidders such as domestic money managers another 16.1%. The amount taken by indirect bidders is 3.1% above the recent average, while direct bidders took 2.3% less.
With borrowing costs this low, there are plenty of people who wonder why the federal government is not borrowing more and using the proceeds to invest in rejuvenating the US economy by spending while everyone else is saving. The answer to that question is left as an exercise for the reader.