BlackRock CEO Fink does not see inflation as transitory

[NEW YORK] BlackRock chief executive Larry Fink said he does not see inflation as transitory and that the US Federal Reserve will have to react to higher inflation numbers.

"I am not calling for 1970's inflation but I just think we are going to have above 2 per cent inflation .. probably closer to 3.5 per cent to 4 per cent," Mr Fink said in an interview with Reuters.

"Does that mean the Federal Reserve will have to change policy? I think so," said Mr Fink who, as head of the world's largest asset manager, is viewed as one of the most influential investors in the world.

A rapid rise in prices has left investors wondering whether inflation is likely to peak soon as economies emerge from the cloud of disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, or if higher inflation is here to stay.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has repeatedly stated that higher inflation will be transitory, noting that he expects supply chains to normalise and adapt.

"Over the next few years we are going to see more focus on jobs, more focus on reshaping our manufacturing platforms, our supply chain delivery. These are going to be a little more inflationary," Mr Fink said.

One major worry facing investors is how an overheating economy amid a faster reopening could force the Fed to pare back its ultra-loose monetary policies, seen as supportive of riskier assets, sooner than expected.

Mr Fink said the Fed raising interest rates 50 or 100 basis would not "be that bad or disrupt the equity market".

"It's really about how they implement changes more than if they now recognise that maybe inflation is a little above their target," he said.

The biggest rise in US consumer prices in 13 years has intensified investor focus on messaging from the Federal Reserve, with the central bank's chairman set to speak before Congress on Wednesday.

REUTERS

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