The theme for The Edge Singapore’s Year End Investment Forum (YEIF), sponsored by TD Ameritrade and held on Dec 4, was titled Investing in an Inflationary Environment.
Christopher Brankin, CEO of TD Ameritrade Singapore, does not think the current bout of inflation is transitory. “Are we in some type of transitory inflationary period? Many economists will tell you that all inflation is transitory in nature. I’m not in that camp that this is a temporary period. At this point, we’ve seen [inflation] over the last couple of quarters, and it looks to be driving into the remainder of the year and well into 2022,” he cautions.
Vishnu Varathan, chief economist at Mizuho Bank, delved more into the technicalities of inflation. According to him, inflation is not caused just by rising oil prices or higher food prices. US consumer prices jumped 6.2% in October, the biggest inflation surge in more than 30 years, and the most since December 1990. US core inflation, stripping out food and energy, increased 4.6%, the fastest gain since August 1991. Something else, surely, is at work.