Mohamed El-Erian, "Fed is losing credibility over its inflation narrative!"

The Federal Reserve is losing credibility over its long-standing view that inflation is transitory, according to Mohamed El-Erian, the chief economic advisor at Allianz.
 

 

Key takeaways:
 

 - “I’ve argued that it is really important to reestablish a credible voice on inflation and this has massive institutional, political, and social implications,” El-Erian said Monday.

 - He was speaking to CNBC’s Dan Murphy at the ADIPEC energy industry forum in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates.

 - Fed Chair Jerome Powell has previously said he expects inflation conditions to persist “well into next year” and conceded it is “frustrating” that supply chain issues are showing no sign of improvement.


The Federal Reserve is losing credibility over its long-standing view that inflation is transitory, according to Mohamed El-Erian, the chief economic advisor at Allianz.

“I think the Fed is losing credibility,” El-Erian said Monday. “I’ve argued that it is really important to reestablish a credible voice on inflation and this has massive institutional, political, and social implications.”


He was speaking to CNBC’s Dan Murphy at the ADIPEC energy industry forum in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates.

El-Erian contended that the Fed’s inflation stance weakened the central bank’s forward guidance and undermined President Joe Biden’s economic agenda. 


He said that people shouldn’t forget that those on low incomes are hardest hit by rising consumer prices.

“So, it is a big issue and I hope that the Fed will catch up with developments on the ground,” he added.


A spokesperson for the Federal Reserve was not immediately available to comment when contacted by CNBC.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell has previously said he expects inflation conditions to persist “well into next year” and conceded it is “frustrating” that supply chain issues are showing no signs of improvement. 


The Fed has largely stuck to its messaging, however, that rising inflation is largely tied to the coronavirus pandemic and these supply chain problems will pass.

The consumer price index, which covers products ranging from gasoline and health care to groceries and rents, rose 0.9% on a monthly basis in October.


The Labor Department reported on Nov. 10, significantly higher than expectations. The reading climbed to 6.2% year over year, hitting its highest point since December 1990.

"It Is Not Transitory! We are in this transition of central banks mischaracterizing inflation. The repeated narrative: 


‘It is transitory, it is transitory, it is transitory.’ It is not transitory,” El-Erian said, warning the Fed risked making a major policy mistake.

“We have ample evidence that there are behavioral changes going on,” El-Erian said. “Companies are charging higher prices [and] there’s more to come. 


Supply disruptions are lasting for a lot longer than anybody anticipated. Consumers are advancing purchases in order to avoid problems down the road.

“So, if you look at the underlying behavioral element that leads to inflation, you come up with the conclusion that this will last for a while.


And that’s even before you talk about the renewed Covid disruptions,” he added.

El-Erian cited the reintroduction of public health restrictions and the closure of ports in big manufacturing nations, such as China and Vietnam, as examples of renewed supply chain disruptions.


When asked what the most appropriate response from the Fed would be, El-Erian said, “To accelerate, in December, the pace of tapering.” (Continue reading)


 

 

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