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I’d like to make a few more observations about the overall economy and inflation. First off as we know, over 70% of the US economy is driven by consumer spending and consumer spending is up over 70% from the pandemic low just a few months ago. This very sudden rise in demand has caught inventories and manufacturing by surprise; they were geared for a slow “recession like” recovery lasting 18-24 months. Demand exceeded supply, hence inflation of prices. Basic Econ 101.
Now add to that low consumer debt, cash infusion by the Covid relief packages and mortgage / debt re-fi at historically low interest rates . . . well much more liquidity in the market place. As “bad” as things seem to be, unemployment is actually low (4.6%); again adding to available cash out there.
Lastly, there has been a 29% reduction in ships waiting in the ports of Los Angeles to unload. That along with domestic manufacturing picking up means supply is increase to meet that increased demand. It just doesn’t happen quickly. (more discussion at: www.special-risk.net)
Here’s a chart on consumer debt from the St. Louis FED –
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