If QE Causes Commodity Price Inflation…

If QE causes commodity price inflation, what caused commodity prices to rise before QE?  It never ceases to amaze me that critics of quantitative easing fail to remember that commodity prices were rising well before the Federal Reserve engaged in quantitative easing:

If anything, commodity prices have been moving generally sideways since the Fed began expanding its balance sheet:

And please don’t say “commodity prices have surged since the beginning of 2009.”  I think it is pretty obvious that virtually everyone would not want to return to the economic conditions of 2009 to achieve lower commodity prices.  The rebound of commodity prices was a natural consequence of expanding global activity; if QE is to blame, it must also be blamed for the economic rebound. Also, why have headline consumer prices grown more slowly since the Fed initiated quantitative easing?


What about the surging inflation expectations in the TIPS markets (not necessarily the best measures of inflation expectations, and the ones already falling anyway)?

At best, quantitative easing is keeping inflation expectations propped up, barely.  And once again, does anyone really want to return to the collapsing inflation expectations at the height of the recession?  And are expectations any higher than before quantitative easing?  No.

Bottom Line:  If anything, inflation is lower, both for commodity prices and headline PCE, after quantitative easing.  So isn’t it finally time to put to rest the myth that quantitative easing is causing runaway inflation?  Nothing to see here folks, move along.

This post was originally published at Tim Duy’s Fed Watch and is reproduced here with permission.

One Response to "If QE Causes Commodity Price Inflation…"

  1. algernon27284   October 2, 2012 at 8:45 am

    M1 has roughly doubled since 2001…just like the PPI for Crude Materials. The creation of money & credit is the cause for commodity price inflation, whatever you call it.