Allianz chief economic officer says he fears inflation ‘going to get worse’
Mohamed El-Erian, Allianz’s chief economic adviser, said on Sunday that inflation could continue to rise even after hitting a 40-year high last month.
“I fear that it’s still going to get worse,” he told CBS “Face the Nation” guest moderator John Dickerson. “We may well get to 9 percent at this rate.”
El-Erian also said the Federal Reserve “mischaracterized” inflation last year and failed to take enough action to curb rising prices, but he expects the central bank will increase its core interest rate by at least 50 basis points at its meeting this week.
“The lesson of history is once you fall behind, you lose the ability of the first, best response,” he said. “You end up in this awful situation that we are in today.”
His remarks come after annual inflation hit 8.6 percent in the 12-month stretch ending this May, the fastest yearly price growth since 1981. President Biden has declared fighting inflation his top economic priority.
El-Erian, who also serves as the president of Queens College, located in the United Kingdom, added on Sunday that economists must be “modest” about what they know about future inflation as policymakers look for a “soft landing” in which inflation declines without a recession.
“You need to make a choice: Do you slam on the brakes hard to control inflation, risk a recession, or do you just tap on the brakes and risk inflation lasting much longer than it should?” El-Erian asked.
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