“And take all this evidence of moderating inflation with considerable caution: for at least three reasons. The first is that central banks have no control over the pace of inflation because rising prices have not been driven by ‘excessive demand’ from consumers for goods and services or by companies investing heavily, or even by uncontrolled government spending. It’s not demand that is ‘excessive’, but the other side of the price equation, supply, is too weak. And there, central banks have no traction. They can hike policy interest rates as much as they deem, but it will have little effect on the supply squeeze. And that supply squeeze is not just due to production and transport blockages, or the war in Ukraine, but in my view, even more so to an underlying long-term decline in the productivity growth of the major economies.
That means the major economies could enter a period of stagflation, not seen since the late 1970s, where inflation rates stay high, but output stagnates. Indeed, it could be worse than that. The risk of an outright global slump is rising. If central banks continue to hike their policy rates, all that will do is increase of cost of borrowing for consumers and companies, driving weaker companies into bankruptcies and suppressing demand across the board. Sure, that may finally reduce inflation but only through a slump.”
Is the global inflationary spiral peaking? And if it is and inflation is set to fall over the next year, then has the inflation scare been just a momentary blip and now things will start to turn back to the previously low pace of inflation in the prices of goods and services?
That seems to the view of investors in financial assets in the US, where the stock market has rallied by as much as 20% from lows in mid-June; and both government and corporate bond yields have steadied. Markets seem to believe in what is called the ‘Fed pivot’, where the US Federal Reserve, having hiked its policy rate aggressively since April, will now start to end its hikes going into 2023 as inflation subsides.
Certainly, there is some evidence of peaking inflation in the US where the consumer price inflation (CPI) rate slowed more than expected in July…
View original post 1,703 more words