Is a second wave of inflation coming? – The financial

The recent attacks in the Red Seaa crucial sea route for global trade, could trigger a second wave of inflation globally, but now in 2024, two years after 2022.

At the end of the week, the United States and the United Kingdom bombed several military targets linked to the Houthi rebels in Yemen, after the Iran-backed group defied a warning to stop attacking commercial ships in the Red Sea.

Attacks on boats with containers during the conflict between Israel and Hamas, They could affect at least 10 percent of world trade.

The air raids carried out by the allies were supposedly launched to protect maritime transport transiting the Red Seaaround the 12 percent of the world totalwhich has been disrupted by Houthi attacks on merchant ships from more than 50 countries since December.

The attacks have raised concerns about the flow of oil and gas, grain and raw materials through this important artery of global trade.

But they have also caused an increase in the costs of international shipping for ships transiting through the area, as well as in ship insurance.

It is estimated that since the beginning of the attacks more than 2 thousand ships had to suspend their transits in the zone or deviate by other longer routes to avoid the Red Sea, key for the mass transportation of energy and goods.

The worsening of geopolitical tensions represents one of the biggest global risks in terms of the prolongation of inflationary pressures.

Greater concerns about the conflict in the Middle East increase uncertainty about raw material prices, especially energy prices.

This can reverse the advances in the disinflationary process worldwide, not to mention that In the United States, inflation surprised upwards in your December readings.

Annual headline inflation in the US economy, as measured by the consumer price index, advanced more than expected at the end of 2023, increasing from 3.1 percent in November to 3.4 percent in December.

This is due to the high costs of housing, electricity, gasoline and motor vehicle insurance.

This led analysts to rethink when the Federal Reserve will start cutting rates of interest, now showing themselves not so sure that this will happen as soon as March.

The annual variation of the underlying component, which excludes the most volatile prices, fell from 4.0 to 3.9 percent month over month, but was expected to decline to 3.8 percent.

Inflation in the US remains at levels above the Fed’s 2 percent target, which some analysts say could be reached within one to two years.

In Mexico, inflation general reached a minimum in October, but rebounded in both November and December to reach an annual rate – with rounding of figures – of 4.7 percent by the end of 2023.

It means that the Mexican economy has 1.3 points more general inflation than the United States.

And if we compare the underlying component, which here closed the year at 5.1 percent, Mexico has 1.2 points more inflation than the US.

In terms of convergence, the Bank of Mexico continues to anticipate that inflation will reach the 3 percent annual goal in the second quarter of 2025.

However, The road is full of potholes and it will not be easy to achieve your goals. of inflation of the central banks in Mexico and the US.