Labor cost growth does not appear to fuel inflation through higher demand. The light blue bars in Figure 3 show the cumulative impact of a 1pp increase in the employment cost index (ECI) on the contribution of goods, housing services, and nonhousing services (NHS) inflation to core PCE inflation over a four-year time horizon. The estimates confirm that labor costs have a stronger impact on NHS inflation than either goods or housing services inflation. The impact of the ECI on NHS inflation is statistically significant, but the magnitude is quite small. A 1pp increase in the ECI increases the contribution of NHS inflation to core PCE inflation by 0.15pp over four years—an effect of 0.04pp per year.
- Date Posted:
- May 31, 2023
As the Fed has been raising rates, US households have been big buyers of US Treasuries. The appetite for Treasuries from foreigners has been more limited because of higher hedging costs. Foreigners have instead increased their holdings of equities by $3 trillion during the pandemic. With a 5% budget deficit combined with QT and the Treasury’s need to replenish cash in the Treasury General Account, markets will soon begin to focus on who will be buyers of US government debt.