Kristalina Georgieva, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, said on Thursday that global finance executives may need to get used to dealing with multiple bouts of inflationary pressures.
Due to mounting pressures on energy and food prices from Russia’s war in Ukraine, China’s zero-COVID policies, which have slashed manufacturing with lockdowns, and the need to reorder supply chains to make them more resilient, Georgieva told Reuters that central banks were finding it more difficult to bring inflation down without causing recessions.
“I think what we need to start getting more comfortable with is, that may not be the last shock,” she said, noting that she stopped viewing inflation as a “transitory” one-time shock when the Omicron COVID-19 outbreak took hold late last year.
Strong US demand, supply chain disruptions, and the effects of the Ukraine crisis, she said, all lead to longer-term inflation. She stated on the sidelines of a G7 finance ministers and central bank governors conference in Germany that the COVID-19 pandemic is not finished and that another crisis might occur.
Due to highly contagious variations, China’s zero-COVID policy, which has resulted in widespread lockdown in large cities, is untenable, but officials in Beijing are “digging their heels” in to prevent changing it, she said, adding that the policy’s implications would be reviewed at the meeting.
She stated that she is “really not too concerned” about China’s economy because Beijing has fiscal and monetary policy flexibility to support growth.
Countries’ efforts to move their supply chains from maximum efficiency to improved resilience, according to Georgieva, would boost some prices because redundancy will be required.
“So is this going to be a one-time price shock and then no more impact on inflation? Or will it be a kind of clipping our wings more,” she said. “We have to figure it out.”
Georgieva also expressed her want to discuss her concerns about the global economy fragmenting into rival blocs led by the US and other market-driven democracies on the one hand, and China, Russia, and other state-led economies on the other.
With conflicting technology, regulatory structures, and institutions, the IMF has called this a “disaster.”
(Adapted from USNews.com)