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中英对照:克服通胀恐惧是避免高利率之关键
BOC worries that inflation becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy

 
 
随着近期公布的10月份消费物价指数飙升,边境两岸再次掀起一轮通胀恐惧潮。加拿大统计局提供的数字显示,加拿大物价指数上涨4.7%,是18年以来的新高,而美国涨幅高达6.2%,创下31年来涨幅记录。物价急剧上涨和生活成本飙升的报道也成为媒体关注焦点,引发对美联储和加拿大央行所预测的通胀临时性和短期性的广泛怀疑。随着对美联储将连续多次加息的猜测升温,债券投资者有如惊弓之鸟,已将12个月内连续加息的预测反映在债券收益率中。
 
CPI in Oct has sparked another wave of inflation fears as both sides of the border see prices surge to new highs in decades. StatsCan reported an unprecedented 4.7% price jump in 18-year history, while the US consumer prices climbed by an alarming rate of 6.2%, the worst of 31 years. News coverage over sharp price rises and surging cost of living dominates the media headlines, raising widespread concerns that inflation is more persistent than Feds' transitory narrative. Amid widespread speculations over the Fed's consecutive moves to raise interest rates, spooked bond investors have priced multiple rate hikes in the next 12 months.

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美联储和各国央行都通常会以加息来降低通胀,既通过提高借贷成本以给经济降温并阻止物价上涨。但快速、高幅加息会给整体经济带来负面影响,给家庭财务带来危机。由于加国家庭债务与可支持收入之比达到新高,央行大幅加息会使家庭每月还款支出飙升。近期加息会影响到2022年$3500亿加元的房屋贷款,使在疫情期间购房者陷入困境。而在历史上70年代经济衰退期的极端情况下,房屋贷款率于1981年飙升至21%,让当时的家庭房产主深陷绝望境地,噩梦连连。
 
The Fed and central banks tend to decrease inflation by raising interest rates, making borrowing more expensive to cool off economic activities and price gains. But rapidly sharp rising interest rates can negatively affect the economy, wreaking havoc on Canadian household finances. It will drastically increase the monthly loan payments as Canadians' household debt to disposable income reaches a record high. In particular, rate hikes will affect $350 billion in mortgages in 2022, putting pandemic homebuyers in a bind. In extreme events such as the rate hikes during the 1970s recession, the mortgage rate peaked at over 21 percent in 1981, causing seemingly never-ending nightmares for homeowners at the time.
 
但好消息是,经济学家认为最近的消费指数并未显示出央行加息的急迫性。加拿大消费指数中的最大驱动因素是汽油价格的42%涨幅,而其罪魁是汽油供需严重失衡,央行加息也无济于事。与此同时,瓶颈效应导致的供应链严重短缺也会随着时间的推移而消失。还有,央行追踪的通胀三项核心指标平均涨幅只有2.7%,属央行的通胀目标范围内。在看似悲观的美国消费指数背后也透露出光明的曙光。经济学家估计,美国约三分之一的消费物价指数构成部分呈下降趋势,而指数的一半组成部分涨幅小于2%。同时,美国整体经济正在逐渐复苏,在工资增长同时,生产力在不断提高。
 
However, the good news is that economists believe that the latest CPI numbers prompt no urgent need for monetary authorities' intervention. The biggest driver of CPI's surge in Canada was a 42 percent increase in gasoline prices -- caused by a severe mismatch of supply and demand that rate hikes wouldn't help much. Meanwhile, the shortage of input led by supply chain bottlenecks will fade away over time. The average of BOC's three core inflation measures was only at 2.7 %, which falls within BOC's comfort zone for the inflation target range. The US data has also shown a silver lining behind gloom and doom. Economists estimated that around one-third of CPI component sectors are falling while half are growing at less than 2%. At the same time, the broad economic recovery is on the way while wage increases come along with productivity gains.

 
经济学家们认为美联储基于部分消费指数飙升而进行干预会“利大于弊”。美联储主席鲍威尔和英国央行行长贝利都表示,央行采取收紧政策以应对临时性供应短缺引起的通胀会适得其反。且加拿大国内货币政策不可能缓解全球的膨胀压力。据《金融时报》分析,如果不是出于对公众过高通胀预期的担忧,加拿大央行很可能不会地对近期的高通胀率采取任何行动。
 
Economists believe that the Fed's intervention based on some pockets of spiking inflation might do "more harm than good." Both Fed Chair Jerome Powell and Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey suggest that it is counterproductive that the central bank tightens policy in response to inflation caused by temporary supply shocks. Change in domestic monetary policy in Canada won't alleviate global inflation pressures. If it had not been for the concern about the public's outsized inflation expectations, the BOC would have “looked through” the recent burst of inflation, according to Financial Post.
 
但公众对近期消费指数的过激反应会引发工资和物价指数螺旋上升,既引发70年代的经济危机期高通胀的恶性循环。美联储和加拿大央行通过快速多次加息才消除了恶性通胀,从而使80年代贷款利率居高不下。加拿大央行可能会在明年四月份加息以影响大众对通胀的预期。但为了避免央行所采取的急迫而强劲的紧缩政策而带来的严重后果,大众必须控制通胀恐慌心理,并防止人为心理造成恶性通胀的局面。在短期的高物价面前保持冷静,并相信金融当局有能力控制通胀才是保证通胀率顺利回落的关键。
 
The public overreaction to the latest CPI data may spark a wage and price spiral -- a vicious cycle causing rampant inflation during the 1970s recession. It took a series of rapid rate hikes to break the harmful process, which resulted in the overwhelmingly high mortgage rate in the 1980s. The central bank may raise its policy rate as early as April to influence inflation expectations. But to avoid the devastating impact of quick and forceful tightening policy, the market must try to keep the inflation panic under control, preventing inflation from becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. Staying calm to a brief spell of the higher price level and trusting the monetary authority's ability to rein in inflation is the key to ensuring a smooth disinflation journey.

   

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