Right about this time a year ago, as the pandemic ravaged country after country and economies shuddered, consumers were the ones panic-buying.
Today, on the rebound, it's companies stocking up, furiously.
From automakers to mattress producers, manufacturers are buying more material than they need to survive the breakneck speed at which demand for goods is recovering and assuage that primal fear of running out.
Shortages, transportation bottlenecks and price spikes are nearing the highest levels in recent memory, raising concern that a supercharged global economy will stoke inflation.
How real is it?
Let's bring in William Adams, Senior Economist at the PNC Financial Services Group. He joins us live from Toledo, Ohio.
William Adams, pleasure to have you with us.
Inflation concerns are back in the U.S. with its consumer prices rising at their fastest pace in 12 years. This is a rate much higher than many had expected. What are some of the main contributing factors?
The Federal Reserve played down expectations of tighter policy saying the price rise is "transitory and temporary." How long do you project the "transitory" period of inflation pressures to last, and would inflation become a major problem?
The soaring inflation in the U.S. has prompted fears over interest rate hikes. What's your forecast?
How would rising inflation and possible rate hike in the U.S. impact the global economy, and what does it mean specifically for Asia?
William Adams, Senior Economist at the PNC Financial Services Group for us tonight. Thank you.