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Old 08-02-2021, 14:26
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Default Re: Tickmill UK Fundamental Analysis

Democrats inch closer to the huge stimulus bill. Should we expect inflation shock?

Both houses of the US Congress approved on Friday a budget plan that effectively deprived Republicans of any possibility of obstructing a new coronavirus relief package. Now, to approve the $1.9 trillion aid, a simple majority (51 votes), instead of the usual 60, will be enough for the Democrats.

Democrats and Republicans shared equally seats in the Senate, but Vice President Kamala Harris has the tie-breaking vote. As a representative of the Democratic Party, she will likely tip the scales in favor of Democrats in the voting on any tough Senate motion.

The news sparked a violent reaction in the markets fueling the rally towards new all-time highs. In line with the ideas we discussed last week, the S&P 500 is preparing to occupy a foothold at 3900.

As the markets celebrate another victory, various economists, even determined Keynesians, are sounding the alarm. The biggest risk is that another boom in government spending could push economy into overdrive, which, on the contrary, will be harmful, primarily by causing a jump in inflation. Already, the commodity price index, closely followed by the US consumer inflation, has jumped 25% over the year, which, given the correlation in historical data, corresponds to consumer inflation of about 4% in the United States:





Of course, in the immediate aftermath of the past recessions, consumer inflation has not kept pace with commodity prices, but the post-2020 recovery has been much faster than in past crises, and the US government intends to directly stimulate consumer spending, which will remove the main barrier to cost-push inflation.

Nevertheless, the head of the Treasury Janet Yellen made it clear that she sees more pain for the economy due to delay and less than necessary stimulus. In an interview over the weekend, she said the central bank has all the tools it needs to keep inflation under control. In her opinion, if the government approves the announced stimulus, the economy will recoup lost jobs by the end of 2022.

Expectations of stimulus measures fuel risk appetite in the markets. As the past stimulus rounds have shown, the consumer in the United States did not have time to worry and turn on austerity mode – government money transfers (“stimmy checks”) was followed by surges in consumer spending, which, as a result, led to an increase in companies' revenues. Consider the 44% growth in Amazon sales in 2020, despite the consensus that pandemic caused the worst shock in consumption since the Great Depression in the US. Tax risks have not materialized, as the hawkish Democrats have made it clear that they will return to this issue when the economy is on its feet.



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