Pubblicato in: Commercio, Devoluzione socialismo, Economia e Produzione Industriale, Stati Uniti

Usa. L’incubo della inflazione. Alita sul collo della Harris-Biden Administration.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-06-26.

2021-06-20__ Lo spettro della Inflazione 001

No: l’inflazione non è uno spettro. È arrivata dando un calcio alla porta: è destinata a crescere ed a rimanere a lungo.

*

«The specter of inflation. Is it haunting the U.S. economy?»

«demand for goods and services is rebounding more quickly than the supply of those same goods and services. And when demand outpaces supply, prices rise»

«More Americans are shopping in stores, eating in restaurants and planning vacations. They are spending some of the savings that they accumulated during the pandemic, including money from government stimulus checks»

«Supply, however, is not back. The pandemic disrupted supply chains for many items, including computer chips, paint, lumber and sneakers»

«“Inflation has come in above expectations,” Jerome Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, said after a meeting yesterday.»

«Fed officials updated their inflation forecast, predicted that inflation would remain above 3 percent for much of this year»

«Fed officials also announced that they expected to begin raising interest rates in 2023, sooner than previously planned»

«The big question is whether the forces causing inflation to rise are fleeting, as Powell believes is quite likely — or whether they will continue for months and create significant problems for the U.S. economy»

«There are some reasons to believe that the mismatch between demand and supply could last for a while.

On the demand side, Americans have money to spend, thanks partly to all the stimulus that the government has pumped into the economy»

«A lower labor supply could lead to more competition for workers and to wage increases that would translate into price increases»

«If inflation remains elevated for months, it could feed on itself»

«Companies would increase prices, to cover the higher cost of raw materials. Workers would ask for wage increases, to maintain their buying power»

«The Federal Reserve might then need to raise interest rates to prevent an inflationary spiral, and rapid rate increase has caused recessions in the past »

«One reason to be skeptical about dire inflation warnings is that economists have repeatedly overestimated the risks of inflation in the 21st century»

«The coming end to federal stimulus will also serve to reduce demand»

«The spending from the $1.9 trillion bill that President Biden signed in March will mostly expire by early summer»

* * * * * * *

Se nel suo complesso l’articolo riportato è sostanzialmente vero, ci permettiamo di dissentirne dalla sua rozza grossolanità.

Usa. Maggio21. Inflazione in rapida salita. – Il commento di Bloomberg.

Usa. Maggio21. Prezzi alla produzione (PPI) +6.6 anno su anno.

Usa. Maggio21. Prezzi al consumo al +5%. L’inflazione c’è e cresce. – Bloomberg.

*

Non sono solo gli americani scatenati negli acquisti a fare salire i prezzi al dettaglio.

«Producer prices as of May rose 6.6% over the past 12 months»

«goods for intermediate demand increased 21.9 percent»

«prices for nonferrous metals rose 6.9 percent»

«Over 40 percent of the May increase in the index for final demand services is attributable to margins for automobile retailing (partial), which jumped 27.3 percent.»

«the index for unprocessed goods rose 8.4 percent»

«prices for processed goods for intermediate demand increased 21.9 percent»

«Prices for diesel fuel; utility natural gas; structural, architectural, and pre-engineered metal products; ethanol; and beef and veal also moved higher»

«unprocessed energy materials, which climbed 9.6 percent»

«Nearly 30 percent of the May increase in the index for unprocessed goods for intermediate demand can be traced to prices for crude petroleum, which rose 12.8 percent»

*

Orbene, tutti questi aumenti dei costi di produzione sono indipendenti dal volume della domanda: sono aumenti strutturali e duraturi, che affliggono la produzione.

Su queste realtà le manovre finanziarie possono ben poco.

*


The Specter of Inflation.

Is it haunting the U.S. economy?

Here’s a simple way to understand the recent rise in inflation: As the pandemic is receding in the U.S., demand for goods and services is rebounding more quickly than the supply of those same goods and services. And when demand outpaces supply, prices rise.

The demand part of the story is fairly obvious. More Americans are shopping in stores, eating in restaurants and planning vacations. They are spending some of the savings that they accumulated during the pandemic, including money from government stimulus checks. As my colleague Neil Irwin says, “Demand is not just back but more than back, given the fiscal surge and pent-up savings.”

Supply, however, is not back. The pandemic disrupted supply chains for many items, including computer chips, paint, lumber and sneakers. It also disrupted work habits, and not everybody can — or wants to — return immediately to their old jobs.

The taxi and ride-hailing industry is a good example of what happens when rising demand (more travelers) runs up against reduced supply (a shortage of drivers). One rider recently paid $248 for a trip from Midtown Manhattan to Kennedy International Airport, in Queens — almost as much as his plane ticket to California.

“Inflation has come in above expectations,” Jerome Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, said after a meeting yesterday. During the meeting, Fed officials updated their inflation forecast, predicted that inflation would remain above 3 percent for much of this year, which is higher than their preferred level of 2 percent. Fed officials also announced that they expected to begin raising interest rates in 2023, sooner than previously planned, as The Times’s Jeanna Smialek explains.

The big question is whether the forces causing inflation to rise are fleeting, as Powell believes is quite likely — or whether they will continue for months and create significant problems for the U.S. economy. Today’s newsletter lays out those two different scenarios.

                         The high-inflation scenario

There are some reasons to believe that the mismatch between demand and supply could last for a while.

On the demand side, Americans have money to spend, thanks partly to all the stimulus that the government has pumped into the economy. Look at what’s happened over the past year to the savings rate, which measures the portion of income that households put aside each month:

“With excess saving they can afford more of everything,” Jason Furman, a Harvard economist and former Obama administration official, wrote this week.

Although companies are increasing the supply of many products to satisfy rising demand, they may not always be able to keep up. One unknown, as Neil points out, is how many people have decided that they prefer the slower pace of pandemic life and choose not to return to full-time work. A lower labor supply could lead to more competition for workers and to wage increases that would translate into price increases.

If inflation remains elevated for months, it could feed on itself. Companies would increase prices, to cover the higher cost of raw materials. Workers would ask for wage increases, to maintain their buying power. The Federal Reserve might then need to raise interest rates to prevent an inflationary spiral, and rapid rate increase has caused recessions in the past.

Furman has called the chances of persistent inflation “under appreciated.”

                         The low-inflation scenario

But you can also tell a plausible story about why inflation won’t last. This is the scenario that most officials at the Fed and in the Biden administration consider to be more likely.

One reason to be skeptical about dire inflation warnings is that economists have repeatedly overestimated the risks of inflation in the 21st century. And several features of the modern American economy seem to restrain inflation. Global competition is one, Powell has argued. Another is American workers’ relative lack of bargaining power, which means that companies can often wait out temporary price spikes without increasing wages.

Fed officials believe that these larger forces will prove more powerful than the short-term disruptions from the economy’s post-pandemic reopening. (Neil has written a helpful explainer on this subject.)

Already, there is some evidence to support the Fed’s sanguine view. Some companies have responded to higher prices, and to the opportunity to make higher profits, by increasing output. To take one example, lumber prices, after rising sharply, are now falling. “As the economy is opening back up again, prices are now moving back toward normal levels in leisure, hospitality, airfare and the like,” Janet Yellen, the Treasury secretary, said in a Senate hearing yesterday.

The coming end to federal stimulus will also serve to reduce demand. The spending from the $1.9 trillion bill that President Biden signed in March will mostly expire by early summer. Once that happens, the decline in government spending will act as a drag on economic growth and help hold down inflation.

                         What really matters

It’s too soon to know which scenario will be closer to reality. Regardless, it’s worth remembering that inflation is not the only way to measure the U.S. economy.

The best outcome for most Americans is a growing economy in which incomes are increasing faster than prices, leading to broadly rising living standards. Stable inflation almost certainly needs to be a part of that happy outcome. But it is not enough. An economy with low inflation and weak income growth — which is to say, the U.S. economy for most of the past few decades — has its own problems.

Officials at the Fed and the Biden administration are trying to create a stronger economy without also causing a different set of problems. We don’t yet know whether they will succeed.

Un pensiero riguardo “Usa. L’incubo della inflazione. Alita sul collo della Harris-Biden Administration.

I commenti sono chiusi.