Category Archives: prices

5/4/21: Heating up inflationary risks


No, hyperinflation and, in fact, high inflation, ain't coming, yet. But the concerns with both are rising... 

Both, input prices and output prices have accelerated in March, compared to February in Markit's Manufacturing PMIs. 

Headline Markit statement says: "Conditions in the global manufacturing sector continued to brighten at the end of the first quarter, despite the potential for growth to be stymied by rising cost inflationary pressures and supply-chain disruptions." (Emphasis is mine).  And more: "Demand outstripping supply also contributed to a marked increase in purchasing costs during March. Input price inflation surged to a near-decade high, the pass-through of which led to the steepest rise in output charges since data on selling prices were first tracked in October 2009."

The same is happening in the U.S.: "Supplier lead times lengthened to the greatest extent on record. At the same time, inflationary pressures intensified, with cost burdens rising at the quickest rate for a decade. Firms partially passed on higher input costs to clients through the sharpest increase in charges in the survey's history."

23/4/15: Where the Bad of Deflation Looks Good…

You know the theory of the 'Bad of Deflation' - I wrote about it before... the story goes as follows: if prices fall, and consumers expect them to continue to fall, then rational consumers will withhold their demand, delaying their purchases in anticipation of lower price in the future. The result will be: reduced demand today, lower investment by the firms in future production, lower investment in innovation, stagnation, layoffs, recession... locust... fire balls falling from the skies and pestilence of the kind that only Central Bankers can save us from.

You also know my response to this, especially in the current macroeconomic conditions: falling prices support household real incomes and increase households' ability to finance debt and debt deleveraging, while sustaining at least some semblance of civilised demand.

But don't take my word for this. Here is a handy chart plotting... deflation in the price of hard drives:

It's source is here:

Do let me know if you know of any evidence that demand for hard drives has been 'delayed' by consumers or that innovation has 'stopped' in fear of lower prices/returns by companies, or if you have seen locust swarming around...