Looking at the chart below.
It took about 18 months for inflation to rise from its prior baseline to the peak near Jun 2022. A dummy model requiring no extra thinking might say it would similarly take about 18 months for inflation to decline from its Jun 2022 peak and return to its prior baseline. If so, then we are about halfway back to baseline with maybe 9 months to go (again, a dummy model, but no worse than anything else I’ve seen).
Year-over-year (12 month trailing) inflation peaked around Jun 2022. Over the next few months, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, we will be lapping the 1-year anniversary from Jun 2022, so year-over-year comparisons will be relative to the peak inflation months near Jun 2022, which will provide an even higher hurdle for prices to exceed in 2023 in order for inflation metrics not to moderate.
And of course, there are many forces putting downward pressure on inflation: the economy is slowing, higher interest rates and related banking stress are slowing credit growth, etc.
Over the last 6 months, from Sep 2022 to Mar 2023, the Fed’s preferred inflation measure, PCE inflation, went from 124.154 to 126.373, an increase of 1.78% which annualizes to 3.6%.
With the Fed funds rate already at 5%, another 0.25% rate hike is not going to move the needle either way. The Fed should pause soon, unless they really think the Fed funds rate needs to go much higher, like 6% or more, and I don’t think very many people believe much higher rates are warranted.
And the Fed’s messaging and posture certainly isn’t indicating the need to move rates another 1% or more higher. Just ask Fed Chair Powell:
p. 4. “…we no longer state that we anticipate that ongoing rate increases will be appropriate to quell inflation…”
Doesn’t sound like a policy determined to drive rates much higher.