It’s the question on the minds of market watchers, economists and consumers alike: When will soaring prices fall back down to Earth?
There are hints that the worst of the U.S.‘s bout with inflation may be in the past. The consumer price index, a widely watched inflation gauge, came in at 7.7% in October when compared with a year earlier. While that was still well above the Federal Reserves’ 2% target, it did clock in below Wall Street’s expectations.
“It’s probably going to be lower next year. How much lower is it? We’re not quite sure. Inflation can be very hard to predict,” Kevin Kliesen, business economist and research officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, told CNBC in an interview.
Still, some experts are concerned that the historic pace of interest rate hikes from the Fed, aimed at cooling down the hot economy, could spur a recession once the dust settles. However, any potential downturn is expected to be mild, The Conference Board CEO Steve Odland told CNBC.
“It’s really an employee’s market here. Wages are rising quite rapidly. This could be a much less painful experience with the Fed trying to tame inflation than it has been in the past,” Odland said.