Overall consumer prices in April were 8.3% higher than a year ago, and America’s families can expect inflation to continue putting pressure on their wallets for the next few years. American Farm Bureau Federation economists analyzed the inflation numbers in the latest Market Intel. They expect inflation to stay above 5% or 6% for the foreseeable future.
“Quite simply, too much money was created by the Federal Reserve Bank (often called ‘the Fed’), mostly in 2020, and it is turning, inevitably, into inflation,” the Market Intel states. “Thankfully, the Fed has begun taking steps to address this…but it will likely take a few years to approach their long-term target of 2% per year.”
The Market Intel points to the Fed injecting $6.4 trillion into the economy between March 2020 and the end of 2021, which is a 42% increase in the money supply in only 22 months. This infusion of money is too much to be absorbed by economic growth in a year or two, even with a strong post-COVID-19 pandemic recovery. Lower interest rates also spurred borrowing. All of these factors combined to overstimulate the economy.
The Market Intel continues, “There was a lot of disposable income, including enhanced unemployment benefits to most of those put out of work, substantial government support for businesses who kept people on payroll, and the regular paychecks of the vast majority of the workforce. This ensured that personal incomes and overall demand didn’t flag; so there was little reason for the Fed to pursue demand stimulus through such a loose money policy.”
The Fed is now taking steps to address inflation through an interest rate hike and plans to sell off up to a trillion dollars in bonds and securities.