JULY 19, 2023 – Looking back at my posts, 9 months ago with inflation above 8% we had a large contingent of economists predicting inflation would soar above 10% in 2023. You couldn’t be much more wrong than they were.
By January, I came out with my 6-months out forecast that the CPI would fall below 2% by the July 12th report that just occurred. As we went thru the Spring I admitted that was too aggressive and 3% was the likely figure. And 3.0% is where we ended up.
So, what am I seeing for the remainder of the year. Straight to the point – I think the current 3.0% figure is the low we will see for this year. I expect the August report will be 3.4%-3.5%. I see virtually no chance of inflation falling below 3.0% anytime by yearend. My prediction for the January 2024 report that will show what CPI was for the entire year of 2023 is in the 4.0%-4.5% range. It is WAY early, but there is a good chance we will see CPI go below 2% in the Spring of 2024. That will make Powell happy:)
I will say if there is any surprise to the above, it will be to the downside. Several indicators are forecasting disinflation, and even deflation, and thus a chance to see inflation drop. PPI is down to almost 0% and it leads CPI. Wage inflation is slowing. But it still above 4%. The significant factors of energy and transportation are down double-digit rates (!) year-over-year. Also, China is weaker than expected and their weakness gets reflected in our prices a quarter or two out. I hear those forecasting below 2% CPI by yearend. The data just seems impossible to me to have a decline below 3% occur.
As always, we shall see.
This is the first of several posts as I forecast the remainder of the year and into 2024. Banks, the economy, and housing are to follow.
The Mann