The Coming 2021 Inflation Mirage

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(Bloomberg) — The sto­ry of U.S. infla­tion in 2021 could very well amount to this: It’s all a mirage.Americans are like­ly to see prices jump across a vari­ety of sec­tors next year, thanks in part to Covid-19 vac­cines that will poten­tial­ly tur­bocharge demand for such pan­dem­ic casu­al­ties as trav­el and tick­ets to sport­ing events.With prices also climb­ing for some inputs such as cop­per and lum­ber, infla­tion could very well reach or sur­pass the Fed­er­al Reserve’s 2% tar­get in some months. Finan­cial mar­kets are increas­ing­ly pric­ing in high­er infla­tion in com­ing years, and debates over whether the cen­tral bank should start eas­ing back its record mon­e­tary stim­u­lus may inten­si­fy. But one crit­i­cal ingre­di­ent will be miss­ing to sus­tain high­er infla­tion: a tight labor mar­ket. Many econ­o­mists dis­count the …


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