Inflation is serious stuff. It makes people`s money less valuable, and it means a lot of trouble for a lot of people. But I`m not shocked, because we knew it was coming someday. I wrote about nine years ago, and here we are.
Ronald Reagan was fighting against inflation in the ’80s, and he once said;
«Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber, and as deadly as a hit man.»
I bet Chair Powell thinks the same, as he raised the federal fund’s rate by 75 bps to the 3% – 3,25% range during its September meeting. This is the third three-quarter point increase, pushing borrowing costs to the highest since 2008.
Policymakers also anticipate that ongoing increases in the target range will be appropriate which was reinforced by Chair Powell during the press conference.
«We have got to get inflation behind us. I wish there were a painless way to do that. There isn`t. The so-called dot plot showed interest rates will likely reach 4,4% by December, above 3,4% projected in June, and rise to 4,6% next year.
Meanwhile, GDP growth forecasts were revised lower to show a 0,2% expansion this year, compared to 1,7% seen in June and 1,2% in 2023, below 1,7% seen in June. Inflation as measured by PCE is seen to reach 5,4% in 2022 (5,2% projected in June) and 2,8% in 2023 (vs 2,6%).
They also expect the unemployment rate to raise up to 4,4% next year. In August this year, the unemployment rate rose to 3,7%, which is the highest since February and above market expectations of 3,5%.
The number of unemployed people increased by 344 thousand to 6,014 million, while employment levels went up by 442 thousand to 158,732 million. Meanwhile, the labor force participation rate rose to 62,4% in August from 62,1% in July.
The unemployment rate was about 4% right after the dot com bubble, but it rose to about 6% a few years later. In 2010, the unemployment rate rose to about 10% but it peaked at an all-time high of nearly 16% after all the lockdowns.
Banks in nearly every country (not China and Japan) are facing similar trade-offs as they raise rates to combat their own inflation problems.
The inflation rate in the US is 8,3%. In the UK it`s 9,9%. Euro Area; 9,1%. In China and Japan, the inflation rate is 2,5% and 3,0%. But this is nothing compared to Turkey where the inflation rate rose for the 15th consecutive month to 80,2% in August of 2022.