By CASEY HARPER
THE CENTER SQUARE SENIOR REPORTER
(The Center Square) — A survey released Monday found that business experts expect prices and inflation to rise at elevated levels for years to come.
The National Association for Business Economics released the results of a survey of 48 economic experts who downgraded their growth predictions and projected elevated inflation through the second half of 2023, if not later.
“NABE Outlook survey panelists have ramped up their expectations for inflation significantly since September,” said NABE Vice President Julia Coronado, founder and president, MacroPolicy Perspectives LLC. “The core consumer price index, which excludes food and energy costs, is now expected to rise 6.0% from the fourth quarter of 2020 to the fourth quarter of 2021, compared to the September forecast of a 5.1% increase over the same period.”
Recent Department of Labor inflation data show the fastest rise in decades.
“Nearly three-fourths of respondents – 71% – anticipate that the Federal Reserve’s preferred gauge of inflation, the change in the core PCE price index, will not cool down to or below the Fed’s target of 2% year-over-year until the second half of 2023 or later,” Ms. Coronado added.
Experts do expect wages to rise as well and predict the U.S. will reach full employment likely in 2022 or 2023. The Federal Reserve has signaled it is considering interest rate changes to address inflation but has taken no dramatic steps so far.
In May, the surveyed NABE experts projected 6.7% economic growth for 2021. They have since downgraded their prediction to 4.9%.
Republicans have laid the blame for inflation at the feet of President Joe Biden for increased federal spending. However, he has argued his Build Back Better spending plan would address the problem, a claim critics dispute.
“Inflation has gone up every month of Joe Biden’s presidency,” said Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y. “This is a tax on every American.”
Casey Harper works at The Center Square’s Washington, D.C., bureau.