Expect Delays: Inflation Reduction in the US to Take Time

Expect Delays Inflation Reduction in the US to Take Time

December’s Disappointing Data

A recent statement from a top Federal Reserve official suggests that the US might experience a slower progression in reducing inflation. This observation came right before data revealed that inflation rates in December surpassed expectations. This development has cast doubt on the anticipation of an interest rate cut in the early part of the year.

Rate Reduction Expectations Dampened

The latter half of the previous year saw a significant decrease in US inflation, leading to considerations of lowering borrowing costs from the high of 5.25-5.5 percent. However, the December Consumer Price Index (CPI) figure, which stood at 3.4 percent on an annual basis, has made experts rethink the timeline for reducing rates. This figure is crucial as it indicates that the pace of inflation reduction might be slowing down.

The Impact of Global Shipping and Oil Prices

Raphael Bostic, President of the Atlanta Federal Reserve and a key decision-maker in rate-setting meetings, emphasized the need for caution in cutting rates too early. He pointed out the inflationary effects of recent shipping cost surges, partly due to disruptions in the Suez Canal and Houthi attacks on vessels. This situation has resulted in a nearly 150 percent increase in the cost of shipping containers from the Far East to Europe. Additionally, oil prices have spiked, with implications for the global economy.

Wider Economic Ramifications

The ongoing situation has led major shipping companies like AP Møller-Maersk to change their shipping routes, potentially leading to broader inflationary pressures globally. Economists closely monitor these developments, as they might influence the timeline and strategy for reducing inflation rates worldwide.

Developments in Europe and Asia

In Europe, Poland’s stance on the EU-Ukraine free-trade deal and the European Commission’s proposal regarding tariff suspensions are noteworthy. Additionally, asset managers are pushing for shorter settlement cycles in European capital markets to align with recent US changes.

In Asia, Chinese chipmakers are actively networking with Japanese counterparts, adapting to new US-led export controls. However, a significant portion of Japan’s prime-listed companies has yet to disclose their capital efficiency improvement plans.

Business Sector Updates

In the business world, Boeing faces scrutiny over its production quality, especially after a recent incident involving its 737 Max aircraft. The controversy surrounding plagiarism claims against Neri Oxman, wife of hedge fund boss Bill Ackman, and the legal threats against Axel Springer’s Business Insider are also significant developments. Meanwhile, fund manager GQG is increasing its investments in the Middle East while reducing its Chinese holdings, reflecting shifting market dynamics.


The current economic landscape, influenced by various global and domestic factors, suggests that the US might face a slower journey in reducing inflation. This situation warrants careful monitoring and strategic planning from policymakers and investors alike.

Source: https://www.ft.com/content/3a248bbf-dfc2-4a5c-b1ae-12ed21c5ffe1