Economists See US Inflation Running Even Hotter Through Next Year

Economists see US inflation running hotter through next year than they did a month ago and recession odds continue to mount against a backdrop of rising borrowing costs.

Projections for the personal consumption expenditures price index -- the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation metric -- were raised for each quarter of 2023. Still, price pressures are seen cooling sharply over the course of the year. By the final three months, the PCE price index will average 2.8% in the wake of sluggish economic activity and higher interest rates.

The figures are based on the median forecast of 65 economists in a Bloomberg survey conducted Nov. 4-11. Roughly half of the responses were collected prior to the Nov. 10 release of the consumer price index, which showed inflation rose at a slower-than-expected pace in October.

Forecasters also boosted quarterly expectations for the so-called core PCE price measure, which strips out food and energy costs, and the consumer price index. Meantime, the chance of recession over the coming year continued to climb, rising to 65% from 60% in October.

Estimates for the PCE price index in the fourth quarter of 2023 were wide-ranging. For instance, Barclays Plc forecast an average increase of 2% while Deutsche Bank AG projected 3.6% in the latest survey.

The Fed is also expected to reach a higher target range of 4.75-5% in the first quarter of 2023 and wait longer to cut rates. Forecasters now expect the central bank to begin cutting rates in the final three months of next year.