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Broad-based decline in core inflation coming soon

Despite the unanticipated strength in recent months, there are still good reasons to expect core inflation to fall markedly next year. That moderation will not require a deep recession and/or significant rise in the unemployment rate, although we do expect weak demand and easing labour market conditions to play a supporting role. Most of the coming decline in core inflation is already “baked into the cake” – private sector rent measures and other housing indicators point to a significant drop back in shelter cost inflation, while CPI medical care services will fall as the ridiculous spike in health insurance prices is reversed. The stronger dollar, easing supply shortages and collapse in transportation costs all but guarantee a slump in core goods inflation. We expect core CPI inflation to be below 2.5% by end-2023 and core PCE inflation to be around the 2% target. Both measures should fall below 2% in 2024.

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