We’re all fed up with inflation and secretly hope prices will turn tail and start falling soon. As the weeks go by and prices continue to increase on everything from gas to food, budgets are getting tighter and the country is growing more anxious and even starting to prepare for a possible recession.
While there’s no way to know for sure when inflation will ease, check out the following expert predictions about when and how quickly inflation will come down.
Note that some of the organizations and analysts use the Consumer Price Index (CPI) when analyzing the inflation rate. Others look to the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index when tracking inflation.
The Federal Reserve’s Federal Market Open Committee predicted at its March meeting that the inflation rate would increase in 2022 and then decline in 2023. The committee predicted an average PCE inflation rate of 4.3% in 2022.
But inflation is running hotter than many expected. At the June meeting of the FMOC, the committee committed to increasing its target federal funds rate in order to slow down inflation for the second half of 2022 and into 2023.
Former vice chair of the Fed Alan Blinder, who is currently a professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University, predicts that inflation will level off in the near term, “hopefully soon.”
He adds that prices could drop suddenly and bring us out of inflation in a short period, adding that “we’ve seen it happen before.” He hopes that once supply-chain issues fade, inflation will subside quickly.
Financial research firm Morningstar released its “U.S. Economic Outlook” report for the second quarter of 2022 and predicted that inflation would continue throughout 2022 and into 2023, but that it would come down sharply between next year and 2025.
Preston Caldwell, Morningstar’s head of U.S. economics, does not believe inflation will necessarily spread into more sectors of the economy over the next few years.
Analyst David Payne at Kiplinger thinks that inflation will be high throughout 2022 and then subside a bit in 2023.
Payne predicts that the CPI inflation rate will peak at the end of the summer at around 9% and then drop slightly to 8% for the rest of 2022.
The higher cost of housing and the continuing war in Ukraine will be a prime factor in keeping prices high this year, Payne says.
He thinks inflation won’t fade until 2023 when it will fall to 3% to 4% for the year.
Congressional Budget Office
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released an economic outlook report in May indicating that it expected inflation to continue throughout 2022 into 2023.
Ben Harris, assistant secretary for economic policy at the Treasury Department, states that part of the cause of high inflation rates is high corporate profits and lack of business competition.
The CBO notes that the prediction that inflation will cool in 2023 depends on assumptions about the war on Ukraine and other unpredictable economic events and forces.
Economist Paul Krugman predicts that inflation will get more severe before it eases up, and that “rising prices will get worse before they get better.” He does not think that we’ll go into an actual recession, however, as this inflation is new and employment is still high.
Krugman compares the inflation situation now to the periods of stagflation in the 1970s and does not see a similarity, because the situation in the 1970s lasted so long and was fully entrenched before the Fed raised the federal funds rate to respond.
Krugman notes that the Fed will likely continue to raise the federal funds rate to offset inflation but that this is unlikely to hamper growth.
British financial analyst Charles Goodhart predicted in 2020 — at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic — that inflation would rise as a result of the pandemic. He forecast that inflation would run as high as 10% in 2021.
Goodhart believes that after years of inexpensive labor, economies now face a worker shortage that will lead to higher prices, possibly for decades.
National Association for Business Economics
The National Association for Business Economics (NABE) is an association of professional economic forecasters in academia, finance, consulting, and trade groups.
A survey of 53 NABE members found that 71% of the respondents believe inflation will have peaked in the middle of the summer of 2022 and will begin to come down gradually toward the end of the year.
The survey also predicts that, in 2023, both the PCE and CPI inflation rates will remain elevated, but that raging inflation will be over around the end of 2022.
While these forecasts differ in detail, they all agree that inflation is not going to be transitory, as analysts were predicting several months ago. At the time, it was hoped that the war on Ukraine might end quickly, preventing gas prices from staying elevated.
But the war is grinding on, and supply-chain problems that have caused inflation in other sectors haven’t been resolved either.
The consensus among experts is that inflation won’t end before 2023. So, it may be sensible to buckle down and assume that inflation will continue through the end of the year and to focus on ways to make your paycheck go farther during this period.