When one thinks of open-ended, “inflation targeting” one usually thinks of soaring markets, at least in nominal terms, exploding central bank balance sheet, and happy central planners. What one usually does not think of, is, well, inflation targeting. Because while the shadow banking financial system, perfectly devoid of deposits, has for now provided a sufficient buffer from trillions of reserve injections from spreading into the broader economy of the US and Europe, and has primarily impacted stock markets as unsterilized liquidity injections are used by banks to bid stocks, Japan has been far less lucky in this regard. As it turns out, the massive slide in the Japanese Yen in the past 2 months on nothing but ongoing promises of open-ended action, something Europe has perfected, and the US most recently enacted, may have already achieved its goal of pushing inflation. only not to the desired 2% level, but about 50% higher. Luckily, it is for such trivial things that nobody really every needs, such as fuel and consumer products – just ask the BLS.
As the Nikkei reports “the average price of regular gasoline rose to an eight-month high of 150 yen per liter on Tuesday, up 1.2 yen from a week earlier, according to data released on Thursday by the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy. The price has climbed 4.5 yen, or 3%, since late November, when the yen’s downswing started. The dollar-based price of crude oil has remained steady since November, but the yen’s slide by about 10 yen to the dollar has resulted in higher import prices.”
It gets better:
The price of kerosene rose to a nine-month peak. Growing demand due to a cold spell have pushed the price of the fuel up more sharply than other petroleum products.
External hard-disk drives are selling at higher prices at volume electronics retailers, partly because key imported components are paid for with dollars. The average price shot up 540 yen from a week earlier to 8,580 yen, according to research firm BCN Inc.
At Rakuten Inc.’s (4755) online mall, one of the most popular Roomba robotic vacuum cleaners sells for around 29,000 yen. The price of the U.S. product could exceed 30,000 yen after the current inventory runs out in the spring, said a company official.
And that old barbarous relic just hit an all time high:
The domestic retail price for gold hit a 32-year high earlier this month. “Jewelry prices are closely linked to those precious metals, so price hikes will likely spread,” said an official at F&A Aqua Holdings Inc.
The Nikkei’s conclusion: “Households are beginning to feel pinched by the weaker Japanese
Well, the Japanese people wanted Abe, and his inflation targeting policies. They got what they wanted: at least the endless jawboning part that is. We have yet to see just how the BOJ will implement the action that is supposed to back the surge in the USDJPY by over 1000 pips in two months. And now, they also have the surging prices to show for it.
And once the full impact of the spillover from unlimited monetization in the country with the JPY1 quadrillion in debt spill over, look for the prices of all goods and services to explode.
But at least Japanese exports will surge. Oh wait, that would assume that the nationalistic Abe government smoothes tensions with China, something it has not only not done, but exacerabted drastically in the past month or so.
We wonder how long the Japanese people will last until they say enough with this inflationary experiment, and kick Abe out on hopes of a prompt return to deflation.
Perhaps someone far smarter than the MIT and Princeton educated central planners conceived the saying that one should be careful what one wishes for…