OPS Market Update Inflation

Hello friends!

This week, we’re going to take a look at the variety of views economists have on inflation. Spoiler: there’s no real consensus. Then we’ll switch gears to discuss some important things everyone should keep in their car.

One thing we’ve noticed, and you probably have to, is that we’ve got some inflation on our hands. The cost of goods is going up (up 0.9% last month alone) faster than wages are rising, which could put people in a precarious position. But why is it happening? There is no one answer.

Forbes writer Taylor Tepper talks about base effects, the supply chain, and labor issues. In short, base effects happen when the prices go way down and then come back up — it can skew the data and make inflation look wilder than it is. And while that might explain airline prices now that vaccines are more available, it can’t be the whole answer, as inflation is steadily growing in other sectors.

The supply chain is, of course, a significant factor, as we’ve talked about in previous emails. With cars especially, the prices are higher than ever, and while the Fed says that prices will go back down once the supply chain issues are sorted, that could take months or years. Finally, labor shortages mean that fewer items are being produced, which contributes to the supply chain bottleneck.

Meanwhile, Tim Smart from US News & World Report blames energy prices, and Craig Austin at the PBS NewsHour points directly to supply chain issues. Tepper is skeptical that inflation is transitory, and Austin is convinced it’s here to stay. The three are also not in consensus about what the Fed should do about it — raise interest rates now, wait until 2023? There are pros and cons all the way around.

As always, rest assured: our Lifestyle Protection Program has you covered, so whatever happens with inflation, your future is safe in our hands.

We want you to be safe in your car, too. Here are a few things we recommend keeping in your vehicle:

  • An emergency seatbelt cutter and window breaker. We hope you never need it, but should you need to escape your car quickly, this can be a game-changer.
  • Face masks — whether KN95 or regular disposable masks. Even if you’re fully vaccinated, you never know when you might be around someone who isn’t and who needs one, or maybe you’re going somewhere masks are required, and you aren’t in the habit of carrying extras.
  • A first aid kit. It’s convenient and easy to grab one that’s already put together, but you’ll save money if you gather the pieces yourself. Key to a good first aid kit are adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes, gauze, alcohol wipes, tweezers, bandage scissors, and burn cream.
  • trash can. Maybe not a safety issue, but it’s nice to be able to keep your car litter-free between gas station stops on road trips.
  • compact, waterproof LED flashlight will come in handy when you’d least expect it, whether you’re stuck roadside in the rain or trying to find something your kids dropped under the seat.

What do you always keep in your car no matter what? We’d love more recommendations!

That’s it for us this week. Enjoy the blustery fall weather!

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Advisory Services offered through Obsidian Personal Planning Solutions, LLC. Securities are offered through Triad Advisors, member FINRA/SIPC. Obsidian Personal Planning Solutions, LLC, and Obsidian Personal Planning Solutions, Inc, are not affiliated with Triad Advisors.