CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Monday pushed back on fears that the U.S. economy could experience problematic levels of inflation during its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic-induced recession.
The “Mad Money” host said there’s no question price pressures are being felt across a range of commodities and industries. However, Cramer said it hardly means America is headed for a period of runaway inflation akin to the 1970s or even Germany after World War I.
“The economy’s not going to be wrecked by ruinous inflation, the stock market won’t crash because of government debt,” Cramer said. “I think we’re more likely to see a soft landing for this sonic-booming economy once the supply chain issues are ironed out and the enhanced unemployment benefits expire in September.”
Cramer said there are a number of economic positives that make him confident the extreme inflation forecasts are unlikely to materialize, such as strong data on both consumer spending and saving rates.
“The saving seems more robust than the spending, so even with prices rising across the board, the consumer’s in better shape than any time I can ever recall in my life,” Cramer said.
Rising commodity prices for materials such as steel, aluminum and lumber are noteworthy, Cramer said. But he added that those three are subject to tariffs, and simply rolling back those import levies could help the situation in the near term.
And while the dearth of semiconductors is disruptive for many industries, including autos, Cramer said he would not bet on the shortage lasting past this year. He also pointed to comments from management at Foot Locker that suggested port congestion will improve, too.
“Look, I’m not saying everything will resolve itself smoothly. On Friday, Deere had some jarring things to say about rising commodity and freight costs,” Cramer acknowledged.
However, he stressed there always seems to be forecasters sounding the alarm about inflationary risks. “These guys have been consistently wrong for decades,” Cramer said. “We may finally have some real inflation, but I don’t think their dire predictions of financial catastrophe will suddenly start coming true.”