Elevated inflation isn’t going away, but price pressures will hopefully reach their peak this year, according to a new survey from Bankrate.
After inflation in 2021 soared to heights that Americans haven’t witnessed for decades, economists in Bankrate’s Fourth-Quarter Economic Indicator poll were evenly split over whether price gains over the course of this year will turn out to be as expected (40 percent) or more significant (40 percent).
How either of those projections play out depends on the ongoing pandemic, lingering supply chain disruptions and whether employers can fill their vacant positions — conditions that risk keeping consumer prices high for years to come, with some virus-fragile sectors impacted more than others.
Just two respondents (13 percent) in Bankrate’s poll said consumers can expect prices to soar less than expected in 2022.
“Inflation is likely at or near its peak now, given energy prices are falling and the supply chain has started to untangle,” says Robert Frick, corporate economist at the Navy Federal Credit Union. “However, supply chain issues will continue well into next year, and while they should be mostly resolved, their effects may continue into 2023.”
Forecasts and analysis:
This article is the second in a three-part series analyzing findings from Bankrate’s Fourth-Quarter Economic Indicator poll:
- Economists see unemployment sinking to near 50-year low in 2022
- Experts predict another year of decades-high inflation
- 93% of economists see the Fed lifting rates more than once in 2022