Kopi Time E081 - Prof Robert Dekle on recession risks and inflation

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Published Aug 3, 2022, 1:00 AM

Robert Dekle, Professor of Economics at the University of Southern California, joins Kopi Time. Robert’s speciality is Japan, so we start there, going over his views on the yen’s rapid depreciation this year and the sustainability of yield curve control going forward. Robert thinks that there may still be some time left for BoJ to stay with its ultra-easy monetary policy stance, but the clock is ticking. For the longer-term, aging creates formidable headwind with respect to Japan’s domestic economic outlook, which is a major cautionary lesson for other parts of the world that are experiencing an adverse demographic shift. We then talk about the idea that aging and accompanying shrinking of the labour force could cause structural inflation. Robert thinks that between automation and the contribution from countries like India and Vietnam to the global labour pool, this fear may be overstated. We then move on to the US, talking about inflation. Robert sees a fairly long runway left for policy tightening, but also not a full resolution to the elevated inflation issue, with 2% inflation not being secured before 2025. The main reason for this, in Robert’s view, is that US fiscal/monetary policies will not become draconian enough. Robert sees high mortgage rates begin to cool the housing market, and some decline in pump prices being helpful, but worries about sticky food prices. He sees a US dollar peak around the corner as growth slowdown ensues, but at the same time sees lingering risk for emerging markets from high US rates and still-strong USD. We round up our discussion with inflation in the context of climate change and globalisation.  

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