The world’s top economists and fund managers are warning that rising consumer prices and falling economic growth are combining to form a deadly recipe for the global economy…stagflation.

According to a May survey of Bank of America Global search. This is the highest percentage observed since August 2008.

Yet despite these dire predictions of stagflation, most fund managers surveyed believe we have passed the worst inflation peak.

Of the 331 panelists with $986 billion in assets under management who took part in the Bank of America survey, 68% said they believed the global consumer price index (CPI) would fall to course of the next year. This is the highest percentage of managers predicting lower inflation since December 2008, and represents a jump of 28 percentage points from April’s figure.

The belief that inflation is falling is widespread among a number of major Wall Street banks. According to UBS analysts, inflation reached its peak in March when the CPI hit its highest level in four decades 8.5% annual ratearguing that inflation for goods would decline “sharply” as consumers redirect their spending towards services and used car prices start to fall.

Goldman Sachs accepted. The investment bank’s chief economist, Jan Hatzius, said in a May 9 note to clients that it was revising its inflation forecast down for the first time since consumer prices began. to increase at the beginning of 2021.

“We are now more confident that headline inflation and core inflation have peaked year-over-year,” Hatzius wrote.

But you can’t have stagflation without inflation.

Inflation may fall from its recent four-decade highs, but the survey simply shows that these managers believe it will come down from the 8.5% annual rate seen in March, not fall back entirely. . And before investors celebrate the good news of falling inflation, it’s important to note that Wall Street’s expectations for global economic growth are not good.

Inflation down, growth down, profits down?

Some 72% of fund managers expect a weaker global economy over the next 12 months, according to the Bank of America survey. They are the most pessimistic fund managers about the global economic outlook since 1995.

And in April, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) lowered its global growth forecast for the second time this year to just 3.6%, citing “seismic waves” of the war in Ukraine and the COVID-19 blockages in China.

“The war adds to the series of supply shocks that have hit the global economy in recent years. Like seismic waves, its effects will ripple far and wide, through commodity markets, trade and linkages. financial institutions,” said chief economist Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas. during an April 19 press conference on the latest World Economic Outlook.

While businesses were able to take advantage of rising consumer prices in 2021, posting their biggest increase in profits in decades66% of fund managers expect profits to fall over the next year due to slower economic growth, the highest since October 2008.

Markets may have received their first sign of what’s to come on Tuesday. walmart released a less than stellar earnings report that led to the worst two day clearance for the retail giant since 1987.

So, Target followed suit on Wednesday, posting a 52% drop in profitswhich CEO Brian Cornell said was primarily caused by supply chain issues as well as higher compensation and fuel costs.

“While we were anticipating a post-stimulus slowdown…we hadn’t anticipated the magnitude of this change,” Cornell said on the company’s earnings call.

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