Tag Archives: inflation

Consumer price inflation or house price inflation? UK has to choose

The perfect storm is brewing for UK inflation. Boris Johnson and his government will not admit it, but their choice of a hard Brexit will exacerbate price rises, on top of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This could put the Bank of England in the unenviable position of having to choose which bubble to burst: consumer prices, or house prices.

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ECB pays lip service to worries about inflating a housing bubble

The European Central Bank (ECB) raised its inflation target last week, at the same time going to great lengths to try to persuade people that it did not.

In the process, the central bank also stated that it will find a way to deal with an issue that is increasingly pressing: that of runaway house price inflation.

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Investors fear inflation but run to it

Recent capital flows highlight a paradox: investors are afraid of inflation, but seem to have increased their allocation to just the assets that would do worst out of it.

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Inflation is not transitory after all

“Transitory” is the preferred word to describe inflation these days. Central bankers love it, because it means they can continue their easy money policies. Investors love it, because it means the markets’ party goes on.

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Italy tourism season is crucial for post-Covid recovery

The fact that Italy was the first European country to be hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic seems a distant memory. Will Italy now be the first in the European Union to stage a spectacular recovery?

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To fight inflation, wealth needs to be taxed more

Even though the vaccines have the potential to reduce the Covid-19 pandemic to manageable levels, the scars will be felt for years to come.

Beyond the tragedy of the loss of human life, deepening inequality is perhaps the worst consequence of the pandemic. Governments around the world will seek to take steps to reduce it, fearing civil unrest.

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Beyond the Covid-19 crisis, forecasts may be too optimistic

The Covid-19 crisis is one year old, and already, on the economic front at least, optimism is gaining ground.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) economic growth projections, released last week, point to a strong rebound: the world economy is forecast to expand by 6% this year, led by emerging and developing Asia, which is expected to grow by 8.6%.

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Emerging markets face three major headwinds

Emerging market assets have enjoyed robust performance despite the Covid-19 pandemic, with investors attracted by their higher yields and faster economic growth prospects in these countries.

But three headwinds could cut short their growth spurt: rising interest rates, environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and the retreat of globalisation.

These headwinds are converging at a very delicate time for global markets, and at least two of them could persist for a long time.

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The Fed starts a dangerous dance with the market

With baby steps, the Fed and other major central banks are beginning their journey back towards some semblance of normality.

This will be a big resilience test for a financial system which, for more than a decade, has relied on repeated rounds of monetary generosity. Continue reading

Market turmoil tests the power of central banks

The turmoil we are currently seeing in stock and bond markets is just one battle in the war that has been going on in capital markets for a long time: debt versus equity versus central banks.

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