DECEMBER 25, 2022 – The December CPI reading comes out on January 12th. My forecast for November was 7.5%-7.8% and it came in at 7.1%. I am making my forecasts at the high end so as to be a ceiling. Albeit, the November reading was lower than I expected.
My December forecast range is 7.0%-7.1%. A narrow range this time. I would not be surprised if it was on the high end again. Also, note this will be the inflation rate for the entire year of 2022.
For those of you who just wanted to know my forecast, you can stop reading now. I am about to let you inside the thinking of The Mann’s brain:) Before I do that, I wanted to say RIP to Coach Mike Leach. There were two minds that I could relate to in my lifetime – Robin Williams and Coach Mike Leach. They had minds closest to how mine operates. I miss them both. So here goes re inflation….
There are economists and others who have been calling for 10% and 12% and higher inflation in 2023. They are simply ‘wishing’ for such for whatever reason. If they have any data to base this on, I would love to see it. I seriously doubt they do.
I think of future inflation as I do to an automobile’s speed. Get ready to hark back to your calculus class:) Acceleration is a derivative of velocity. A car that is going 70mph this second and then 70mph the next second has an acceleration of 0. To go from 70mph to 71mph you must accelerate at a positive rate. To do the opposite you must have negative acceleration. So now let’s take this analogy to inflation….
The current 12-month annual inflation rate is 7.1%. The 3-month and 6-month annualized inflation rates tell us where annual inflation is headed in the near future. Right now, the 3-month annualized rate is 2.1% and the 6-month annualized rate is 3.7%. The deceleration from 7.1% to 3.7% to 2.1% is telling. It will be near impossible for annual inflation to go up for quite awhile. The data says it will be declining towards the Feds target of 2%.
Some observations on how much the rate of inflation is declining…..The 3-month annualized rate peaked at 12.7% in June. It has ranged from 0.7% to 2.4% for the past 3 months. This is your best indicator of current inflation.
The 6-month annualized rate also peaked at 12.6% in June. It has declined significantly to the current 3.7% rate. There is a very good chance this rate will go below 2% in the next few months.
With the 3-month and 6-month annualized rates in the 2% range, it is apparent that annual inflation is headed towards that figure. I think there is a good chance by the end of the 1st Quarter 2023 annual inflation will be below 5%. And by the end of the 2nd Quarter 2023, it should be below 3%.
A side note re the Fed Funds Rate. The average time between the last increase and the first decrease is 4.5 months. This doesn’t mean that on April 27th the Fed will drop the Fed Funds Rate. But, if the Fed sees annual inflation around 5% and steadily declining, it does give hope that they won’t be increasing rates. The first drop might not occur until they see all of the above data solidly in the 2% and under range. That cannot occur until at least the 3rd Quarter of 2023.
So, there you go re the thinking of The Mann. I hope it makes sense. Albeit, I am sure some of it is confusing and I don’t explain enough. If you ever have any questions, just send me an email.
Oh (there’s this non-stop brain thinking away…), let me throw this out there. Back in the Spring I talked about how virtually no one could see home prices declining by the end of this year. And now here we are and that is reality. Is there anyone saying that by April-June next year the economy will be on the rebound? Housing moves slower and follows the economy in changing direction so a bottoming in prices should occur later in the year. Have you seen anyone seeing such occurring? I have not. I only hear about Jamie Dimon and everyone forecasting a recession next year (which has already occurred this year!!!) and overall just a terrible year. I have not seen any forecasts for a turnaround starting slowly in the 2nd Quarter and becoming more apparent in the 3rd and 4th Quarters. I will revisit this forecast in 6 months:)
Shalom and Happy New Year!!! I hope 2023 is a great year for you.