Impact of US Inflation on Global Asset Returns

A lot of attention is centred around inflation in the academic literature. If the inflation is low and oscillates around central banks’ targets, there is not a big fuss around it. However, when inflation gets high, it becomes a hot topic among investors.

The sharp recovery is also accompanied by high inflation, and recent coronavirus crisis recovery has become a hot topic among practitioners. But is the current period of higher inflation truly that bad? Dai and Medhat (2021) show that inflation is not as big a problem as it may seem in the long term. The authors have examined the relationship between US inflation and the performance of global assets such as stocks, bonds, commodities, REITs, factors or industry portfolios. Based on an analysis of both long-term and the most recent sample periods, the results suggest that most assets had positive real returns during high-inflation periods (and low-inflation as well).

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