If you live long enough you're most likely going to become just like your parents. Some of the traits are desirable some less so. Mom's laugh. Dad's nose. Your former mother-nation's crippling stagflation and negative GDP.
Peter Schiff, president & CEO of Euro Pacific Capital says the near-term fate of the colonies is being foreshadowed across the pond. "If you look at what's happening in Britain right now you have a glimpse of what's about to happen in the U.S.," he states.
If Schiff is right, our sluggish economic growth is about to roll into mild economic contraction. GDP in the UK as a whole has declined 3 of the last 4 quarters and is forecast for more of the same this year.
Of more concern is the rising inflation rate. Governor of the Bank of England Sir Mervyn King said last week that he expects the 2.7% current rate of inflation to rise to at least 3% by summer and to remain above the bank's 2% target for at least two years. This marks a reversal of King's November prediction that inflation would begin to decline by the end of 2013.
The Bank of England attributed the inflation to factors outside of its control and vowed to keep rates low lest it risk derailing the largely theoretical recovery. Inflation coupled with economic contraction is the definition of one of the scariest words in finance: Stagflation.
According to Schiff, the U.S. is actually in worse shape. The U.S. has the benefit of being the world's reserve currency. As such we can print much longer than the BoE without losing a market for our debt. In other words, England has to face the music while the U.S. keeps dancing.
"You live by the printing press, you die by the printing press," Schiff cries.
Do you agree with him, are we headed toward stagflation? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below or visit us on Facebook!
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- Peter Schiff