Latest inflation surge ‘not unexpected’: David Dodge
Former Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge isn’t ruling out the possibility that economic and financial conditions won’t revert to the mean in a post-pandemic world.
In a television interview Wednesday, Dodge, now a senior advisor at Bennett Jones, said the consensus expectations for a normalized economy once the aftershocks of the pandemic dissipate is the most likely outcome, but policymakers shouldn’t count out the possibility we’re facing a brand new economic reality.
“The general consensus among central bankers, among international financial institutions and most economists has been that, no, things will settle back down by the time we get to 2023 and we’ll be back into an economy that looks not wildly different from that which we had in 2019,” he said.
“I think there’s probably about a 70 per cent chance of that, but I think there’s a good 30 per cent chance that that will not be the case and that we will be into a rather different period than the one we experienced for the last 25 years.”
Dodge’s comments come as central bankers across the world mull over the potential for a longer run return of inflation as economies reopen, hiring picks up, and excess cash saved during the pandemic is unleashed.
Those fears could prompt central banks to act by raising rates to quell inflation before it begins to run too hot. While the U.S. Federal Reserve has pledged to keep rates on hold until at least 2023, Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem has struck a more hawkish tone, saying his central bank could move as soon as the latter half of 2022.
Macklem has hedged his bets by pledging repeatedly to be data dependent and watch the ebbs and flows of the post-pandemic recovery before pulling the trigger on a rate hike, an approach Dodge said was prudent given the current uncertainty.
“I think the Bank of Canada has done it right in sticking to the inflation-targeting framework we have, and basically saying that we’re a flexible inflation targeter and when we begin to perceive that we’re getting off track, we will move. They’ve not locked themselves in as the Americans have.”