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GRAPH OF THE MONTH
Tighter monetary conditions, a gradually diminishing effect of US fiscal stimulus measures, capping commodity prices, a more difficult international trade environment and less Chinese capital investment signal a growth slowdown in the quarters ahead. We seem to be in the late-cycle phase of the expansion. However, where is inflation? Will it break out or remain subdued?
Source: Thomson Reuters Datastream, DPAM, 15.06.2018
Firming economic activity has only modestly translated into rising wage and inflation readings. Core inflation (excluding food and energy prices) remains subdued for now. Headline inflation on the other hand has been creeping higher but this is mainly the result of the year-on-year evolution in energy prices. All in all, inflationary pressures are slowly but gradually building. At the same time, other factors including globalization, technological change and digitization, the ageing of the population, insufficient labour union power, lower anchored inflation expectations and sluggish productivity growth suggest that inflation is unlikely to break out.