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John Authers

Inflation Cherry-Pickers Can't Drown Out the Noise

Price pressures are a problem, or not, depending on what you look at. Choosing your criteria first and sticking with them sifts out the bias.

Choose them first, then stick with them.

Choose them first, then stick with them.

Photographer: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

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We’ve just published the latest update of the inflation indicators. In a nutshell, they show a steady but not overwhelming broadening in price pressures, with bond markets still more or less unconcerned, while economic experts polled by Bloomberg remain more anxious about the prospect of deflation. A rise in wage inflation and continuing pain from producer price increases, which might be exacerbated by fresh Covid-related bottlenecks, are causing the greatest immediate concern. People who argue that this inflation is transient and those who think it’s a secular trend both still have plenty of evidence. The debate remains open.