FINANCE | 17.02.2021
“We’re witnessing a serious shift in economic structure and the investment landscape in general”.
Chief economist at MAPFRE Inversión
Higher inflation? More monetary independence? Even more troubled companies? Change is coming. In fact, in response to the first question, those inflation expectations are already changing and are causing spikes in bond yields. In an interview with Radio Intereconomía, Alberto Matellán, chief economist at MAPFRE Inversión, explains that this is already a reality and that in this new context, private investors should “learn about and get up to speed on the economic system that will be in play in the coming years because doing so could cause us to modify our investment objectives.”
The expert explains that it is necessary to differentiate between monetary inflation and the Consumer Price Index (CPI) itself, which is what worries the consumer. “We’re already seeing higher inflation, and more and more people consider that monetary independence is on the way.” For Matellán, an inflation adjustment that, to a large extent will be due to a technical issue, since it was at a minimum last year, implies a normalization, and can even be considered healthy, in that it has to move in line with an improvement in those growth expectations. And he notes that we are still oscillating around figures that are close to historical lows. “The large amount of money that is being printed suggests that this will generate inflation. In the US, the movement has been more noticeable. The figures are still very controllable, still very close to historic lows.” “The serious thing is that those expectations were suddenly up, which would cause the valuations of some assets, such as stocks, to fall, and would have a strong impact on the most indebted states. However, we’re still a long way off from that scenario,” he adds.
In his opinion, central banks are perhaps making a mistake in precisely that respect. “Central banks are pragmatic and do what they can: they ensure the stability of both the financial and economic system, which prevents any number of bankruptcies from happening. But they make a fundamental error too: they assume that the economic system and more specifically, inflation, is something mechanical, which is incorrect. An economy is a system of people who make decisions and controlling this mechanically is impossible.”