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Disinflation Momentum Hitting U.S., Rosenberg Says: Tom Keene

Inflation in the U.S. will slow amid signs of a sputtering economy in which fewer jobs are being created and wages stagnate, said David Rosenberg at Gluskin Sheff & Associates Inc.

“I do not think it will take much to tilt the economy towards mild deflation over the course of the next several years,” Rosenberg, Toronto-based chief economist and strategist at Gluskin Sheff, said in a radio interview on “Bloomberg Surveillance” with Tom Keene and Ken Prewitt. “Wages from the payroll number, which I think was the most important component of that report, again were flat. So you already are seeing the disinflation in motion.”

The Labor Department June 1 reported U.S. employers added 69,000 jobs in May, the fewest in a year, after an increase of 77,000 the previous month. Americans’ average hourly earnings were 1.7 percent higher than a year earlier, the smallest 12-month gain since December 2010.

An intensifying debt crisis in Europe will cut global economic expansion to 2.5 percent in 2012 from 2.9 percent last year, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg. China, the world’s biggest consumer of raw materials, may post the slowest growth in 13 years, a Bloomberg News survey showed last month.

“The disinflation momentum is already on track in the United States, and the problems in Europe -- insofar as they mean slower global growth -- are going to accentuate the downward trend in inflation,” Rosenberg said. “What is happening in Europe and, of course, the spread that we are seeing in terms of the slowdown that it has created in Asia, is only now starting to hit our shores.”

Growth in the U.S. is forecast at 2.2 percent this year, according to the median estimate of 93 forecasters in a Bloomberg monthly survey, down from the May’s estimate of 2.3 percent. Growth was 1.7 percent last year. Inflation predictions were also revised downward in the latest survey, to 2.2 percent from 2.3 percent the previous month. Inflation was 3.2 percent in 2011.

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