When Covid infection rates dip, inflation rates may well rise

Consumer spending may boom once the crisis fades but that could power up prices, interest rates and a severe bear market

Andy Haldane caused quite a stir this month when he suggested the economy was like a coiled spring waiting to go off. As the Bank of England’s chief economist has discovered, it’s harder to be a Tigger than an Eeyore. Predictions of impending disaster tend to be forgotten even when they don’t come true. Much less slack is given to those predicting that things will turn out well.

Haldane could well be proved right. Consumer and business confidence is on the rise and if – a big if, admittedly – the government continues to support the hardest-hit sectors appropriately as the economy is unshackled, it is quite possible there will be an explosion of pent-up demand.

Inflation is when prices rise. Deflation is the opposite – price decreases over time – but inflation is far more common.

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