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Four of the world’s leading central bankers have warned that supply bottlenecks are likely to last longer than expected and said they are watching for unfulfilled signs of them spawning a self-fulfilling cycle of inflation expected higher and wage increases.
Jay Powell, chairman of the US Federal Reserve, said it was “frustrating” that supply chain bottlenecks were holding back the recovery of the world’s largest economy and had helped fuel pressures on companies. higher prices as they intensified.
“The combination of strong demand for goods and bottlenecks has meant that inflation is well above target,” Powell said during a panel with European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde, the governor of the Bank of England Andrew Bailey and the Governor of the Bank of Japan Haruhiko Kuroda on Wednesday. . “We expect it to continue to do so over the next few months before moderating as the bottlenecks ease.”
His warnings echoed similar comments from Lagarde, Bailey and Kuroda, who pointed to uncertainties that further cloud the economic outlook due to the supply disruption and the more contagious Delta variant.
Lagarde said bottlenecks “appeared to be accelerating in some areas” such as container shipping and semiconductors. She added: “How long will these bottlenecks take to clear up is a question we are watching very closely and it is on our radar screen.”
Fuel shortages in the UK, which have kept some people from refueling, show signs of easing, Bailey said, adding that ending the UK holiday program this week could help shortages on the labor market. But he said UK economic output may not return to pre-pandemic levels until the start of next year – “a few months later” than expected.
As the global economy recovered from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, inflation rose faster than many central bankers had expected, driven by soaring prices of the energy, resurgent demand, delays in the delivery of goods and shortages of materials and products.
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