20 trillion dollars of government stimulus in countries around the world. Interest rates so low there is no incentive to save. And more than half a billion vaccinated consumers ready to pull out their wallets and kick off the Roaring 20s of the 21st century. Some experts believe that a surge of inflation, such as we haven’t seen since the 1970s, is now in the cards. Inflation bulls argue that the post pandemic recovery is just one of many trends converging to create rising prices for years to come. They argue that demographics and in particular an aging population that shrinks the labour force and dramatically increases health costs are accelerants for long term inflation. Skeptics argue that post pandemic recoveries typically drive prices down, not up: the mindset after experiencing a plague is to pay down debt not spend more. While the government may be printing money at a record pace, the rapid technological change brought on by COVID will ramp up automation of workforces driving wages down. And with interest rates on safer investments like bonds suppressed by central banks, aging populations will spend less, suppressing consumer demand. The spectre of a long term rise in inflation is just that, a fiction of our imaginations.
Arguing for the motion is Manoj Pradhan, Founder of Talking Heads Macroeconomics based in London, England. He is also the co-author of The Great Demographic Reversal: Ageing Societies, Waning Inequality, Inflation Revival.
Arguing against the motion is David Rosenberg, President of Rosenberg Research in Toronto, Canada. David was previously chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch.
Sources: WTVR CBS6, CNBC, Yale School of Management, Yahoo Finance
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