When Rising Food and Energy Prices Begin to Wreak Havoc
By Addison Wiggin
This morning, we see Britain’s consumer price index grew in December to an annualized 3.7%. Fuel prices are growing at their fastest pace since July, and food prices are zooming at a rate last seen in May 2009.
Like the US Federal Reserve, the Bank of England has an inflation “sweet spot” of 2%. But Britain’s CPI has been above 3% for 13 months now. Unlike in the United States, even the “core” rate of inflation in the UK is rising at an alarming 2.9%.
“If history is any guide,” Chris Mayer contends, “inflation will likely get much worse. Everyone seems to know the US inflationary story of the 1970s. The official inflation rate hit nearly 14% by 1980.
“In other countries, it was worse. In the UK, inflation topped out at 27%; in Japan, 30%.
“The year 2011 is the year when inflation will play the role of wrecking ball,” Chris declares.
“Emerging markets have been a vital part of the investment story of the last decade, for sure. Yet rising food and energy prices pose a big risk to them.