Sunday, July 19, 2015

Inflation is probably going to come back with a vengeance

Inflation is much higher than the government reports it. I follow the numbers of John Williams at ShadowStats. I also look at prices of goods and services that aren't counted in the CPI, but they're things that we have to live with day in and day out. Things like the rise in medical expenses, the rise in college tuitions, the rise in a lot of other everyday living expenses that aren't captured in the CPI.

There's no doubt we’re in a situation where, even though inflation is reportedly tame, there is inflation, and it’s constantly eroding the purchasing power of all currencies. And because interest rates are lower than the inflation rate, that erosion of purchasing power means you're losing wealth with bank deposits. If you put $100 in a bank today, at the end of the year, you maybe have a $100.50 because of the interest that you're earning, but your purchasing power might be $98 or $97. In other words, you're losing wealth by holding fiat currencies.

There has also been some impact limiting inflation, to a certain extent, from declining oil prices. Oil went all the way down to $43 a barrel. Oil is now back up to $60 a barrel. Gasoline has risen five weeks in a row. Inflation is probably going to come back with a vengeance as crude oil prices go back to a more normal level, which, in my mind, is something over $80 a barrel. So my view on inflation is that it will worsen.

- James Turk via HAI