RL170 — Inflation Conundrum: Assessing the Economic Landscape
In this episode of the Retirement Lifestyle Show, Erik Olson, Roshan Loungani, and Adrian Nicholson talk about inflation and if the battle with a sustained high-level of inflation has been won. They cover the signs of the good things to come, what the inflation numbers mean for the economy, and whether we’re done with rate hikes.
[01:19] The Inflation Battle
[03:32] The Current State of Inflation and Who’s to Blame
[07:55] What the Inflation Numbers Mean For the Economy
[11:40] Labor Market, Wage Pressure and Inflation
[14:45] Are We Done with Rate Hikes?
[16:40] Percentage Change in the Consumer Price Index
[20:30] Signs of Good Things to Come
[23:21] Why the Fed Keeps Adjusting Rates
[25:02] Parting Thoughts
For more links and the full show notes keep scrolling down!
Roshan Loungani can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 202-536-4468.
Erik Olson can be reached at email@example.com or 815-940-4652.
Adrian Nicholson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 703-915-8905.
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Full Show Notes:
The Long-Term Battle with Inflation
As investors and financial advisors, the question on everyone’s mind is, are we still in a long-term battle with a sustained high level of inflation or has the battle mostly been won? And if it has been won, what can we do to take advantage of these revised assumptions? According to Erik, the current inflation is a byproduct, not of spending, but of the supply shock coming out of the pandemic and then responding to that with various policy actions. Among them being the decision to lock things down, putting a lot of money into people’s hands and creating a situation where more dollars are chasing fewer goods and services.
Erik further argues that we are largely out of an inflation situation. Why? Well, if you look at the several inflation measures that we consult, such as the producer price index, the consumer price index, and a personal consumption expenses index, we see that they’ve come down a lot. However, we are not quite at the precise 2% level that the federal reserve has indicated is their target, but we are in a lot better shape than most people think.
Links and Resources:
April CPI and its constituent parts: 12-month percentage change, Consumer Price Index, selected categories (bls.gov)
March PCE including goods deflation: BEA Interactive Data Application
April PPI and its constituent parts: Producer prices for final demand rose 2.3 percent over the year ended April 2023 : The Economics Daily: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov)
M2 Money Supply: M2 (M2SL) | FRED | St. Louis Fed (stlouisfed.org)
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