Buckle up folks. I know this is starting to sound repetitive. But interest rates are heading higher, whether we like it or not.
Our industry is incredibly interest rate sensitive, and the cost of capital is going higher.
There are several inflation metrics published by various government departments. There is the consumer price index, the producer price index, the core CPI metric which is basically CPI without the more volatile food and energy components.
The Federal Reserve looks at the Core CPI metric. Many had hoped, myself included, for a reduction in core CPI this month. Well according to the latest data from the bureau of labor and statistics, core CPI was up in September to an annual rate of 6.6% in September, up from a rate of 6.3% in August. This is the largest increase in Core CPI since August 1982.
When economists speak about inflation they make a distinction between cyclical inflation versus secular inflation. You will hear these terms cyclical inflation and secular inflation. So what do these terms mean? If you’re not an economist, or haven’t studies it, you probably have no idea what they’re talking about.
Cyclical inflation is temporary, it’s something that will sort itself out without a lot of government intervention. There are many examples throughout history of inflationary periods that resolved themselves with no central bank intervention. That’s because there was no central bank in existence in the 1800’s.
Secular inflation on the other hand is is basically creeping inflation that continues to persist over a long period of time. It becomes deeply entrenched in the system, the culture and the norms of the economy.
I personally would make the argument that because our CPI metrics have been manipulated to such a degree that even though the BLS has been claiming that inflation has been at or near their 2% target for much of the past decade, no amount of inflation is good. We have indeed been experiencing secular inflation for the past 100 years. To suggest otherwise is not being honest.