Ofelia Marín Lozano | In March, April and May this year we will see published inflation close to or above 2% year-on-year. But this can simply be explained by the rise in oil prices. Crude oil, which a year ago, at the height of its confinement, fell to levels of around 30 dollars per barrel, is now trading above 60 dollars per barrel, is now trading at over 60 dollars. In our opinion, although inflation could pick up notably in the second quarter of 2021, with year-on-year readings above the 2% that the US Federal Reserve and the ECB have set as a benchmark for the long term, the underlying inflationary risks remain well under control and support the maintenance of an accommodative monetary policy for a prolonged period of time. Simply put: core inflation only rises consistently if wages rise and, with higher unemployment, it is very difficult for that to happen.
Mutuactivos | How would you react to an inflation figure of 4.1%, albeit temporary? In short, we believe that it could push the T-note above 2% temporarily, even a scare in the markets, but in that case it is likely that the Fed would try to influence it to moderate it: either by changing its “active passive” discourse to one of greater involvement, closer to that of the ECB, or directly by buying debt to control the yield curve.
José Ramón Díez Guijarro (Bankia Estudios) | In the more recent past, the central banks have had enough to deal with trying to combat the risk of deflation linked to the structural changes of recent decades: globalisation, ageing population, digitalisation, etc. And now, practically without any solution of continuity, they have to face a crisis which may lead to new permanent “shocks” in inflation. These would derive from changes in the consumption patterns and from the accelerated digitalisation process. Or from the intensive use of non-conventional monetary policy measures.
Chris Iggo (AXA Investment Managers) | Next month the Fed is expected to announce some changes to its long-term monetary policy framework. Many observers expect that to include an “average inflation target” which in theory means the Fed will allow inflation to rise above 2% for a long enough period to compensate for when inflation has been below 2%. It likely will need to back this up with forward guidance suggesting that rates won’t be increased until it is convinced its inflation target (and maybe an unemployment target) has been met.
Rubén Segura-Cayuela (BoAML) | We still expect a top-up of the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP) by another EUR500bn to stretch until end-2021- probably announced in December. That will be necessary to accommodate the economy. But it will not suffice to tackle long-term inflation dynamics and faltering expectations. More and longer policy support is needed, urgently.
DWS | There are a few reasons to think that unlike the economy, inflation could see a V-shaped recovery. Recently published inflation data seem to confirm this theoretical view. Without taking into account the energy component, which, thanks to the oil price, fluctuated wildly in 2020, the inflation rate in the Eurozone was 1.3% in June. That is exactly the same level as at the beginning of the year.
Miguel Navascués | The Fed is continuing to buy assets and issue money to chosen subjects (for the first time not just the banks). The purchases made so far are more than double those made in 2008. However, the speed of money circulation (i.e., GDP/M2), shows a decline to levels never seen before: each unit of money in circulation moves just $1.4 of GDP. Or, in other words, more and more money is needed to move the same amount of GDP.
Degussa | Most people these days think inflation is a rise in consumer goods prices of more than 2 per cent per year – a result of what mainstream economics has been teaching generations of students all around the world. However, equating inflation with changes in consumer goods prices is inadequate and highly deceptive for various reasons.
Signs of a future increase in inflation are becoming increasingly visible. Natixis IM explains some of these global clues. First it is US long-term inflation outlook, which is currently situated around 2-3% and trending clearly higher.
The trend in inflation is confusing those in charge of monetary policy. After a significant uptick in the last part of 2017, it has really stagnated, in stark contrast with the growing dynamism of the economy.