【良言共享】通脹並非不可收拾 (Chinese Only)


市場分析
Tommy Ong21 Oct 2021


    在9月份美國聯儲局的議息聲明中,公開市場委員會用了「居高不下」來形容美國通脹的情況,似乎反映了聯儲局曾經認為高通脹只是「暫時性」的立場有所搖動。因此,美國10年期債息於議息後3周內上升至1.62厘的4個半月高位。不過,此息率於上周美國公布比預期稍高的消費物價指數後跌至1.51厘水平,最後因受助於較預期高的9月份零售銷售(升0.7%),10年期孳息率上周收報1.57厘,比9月份聯儲局議息前高0.27厘。

    利率水平比通脹預期低就會出現實質負利率,持現金就失去購買力,大家努力投資保值。從9月23日聯儲局鷹派聲至今,美國10年期通脹掛鈎債息只曾隨名義利率上升0.12厘,於上周四回跌至-1.02厘的一個月低位,甚至比議息前低,反映市場對通脹上升快於利率上升的預期。負利率一向利好風險資產,因此自9月聯儲局議息至今,標普500仍升1.7%、比特幣升43%,而澳元兌日圓亦上升6.6%。

    當然,在貨幣政策不再是「大水灌頂」時,財政政策的接力不可或缺。在美國參議院通過將國債上限於未來兩個月提高至28.9萬億美元後,拜登政府將利用預算調節程序通過基建、刺激及凍結國債上限是大概率事件,財政政策的銜接問題不大。

    筆者常說,有適量通脹才有升市,因為當人們感到價格上升時,大部分會提早購物甚或投資,增加經濟活力、推高資產價格,反之亦然。不過,當通脹高漲至侵蝕大部分企業盈利而居民購買力又同時大幅回落時,危機卻可能出現。

    面對通脹三大課題

    現存三大課題為:一,原材料例如晶片、煤、天然氣及石油供應是否追得上需求;二,工資及租金的上升是否已成為大趨勢;三,貨物價格的上升對通脹的貢獻是否會轉移至服務當中。

    市場上普遍對晶片及商品供應短缺存在非常大的戒心,造成價格大幅波動及囤積活動。不過,中美政府都已放話對抗炒賣活動。總理李克強月初於國常會上說明,限電限產不應是一刀切做法,明令內蒙、山西等地加強供應。中國行政指令對商品市場的影響向來有效,自5月10日中國收緊商品交易限制後,鐵礦石期貨價格至今下跌42%。

    美國政府亦於日內開始對付囤積晶片的行動,對美國有設廠的台積電、三星及英特爾等晶片供應商,發出提供庫存量、訂單及銷售紀錄的命令。深圳華強北路GDMCU及STMCU晶片價格於上周回跌至18元及50元人民幣,比高點分別低48%及23%。此外,台積電已在美國鳳凰城及將於日本分別投資120億美元及70億美元設廠造晶片。有分析認為遠水難救近火,筆者不同意,以2024年投產的預期,將有助大幅減少囤積活動。

    有工沒人做料本月結束

    工資上升似乎不限於美國,報載英國貨櫃車司機人手短缺,有公司以8萬英鎊年薪吸引巴士司機轉職,但英國問題純粹是「脫歐」後遺症,亞太區無此現象。9月美國平均時薪升0.6%,比前3個月的0.4%都高,但必需注意,大部分州份於9月5日取消額外失業救濟補貼,大部分失業者並未回歸市場工作,勞動參與率回跌至61.6%。「有工無人找」現象應該於10月結束,薪金漲勢將回落。

    9月份租金上升0.5%,為2001年至今最大升幅,是房價上升的滯後反應。不過筆者估計,由於在家工作及學習已最少佔舊有實體活動的20%以上,人們對「旺區」如灣區、曼哈頓及䒦加哥等地房屋的需求將下跌,租住於商業區附近的需要亦下降,租戶可考慮購買郊區或偏遠地區比較廉宜的房屋,制約租金上升。

    最後,是服務業通脹代替貨物通脹的問題。筆者認為,大部分服務業的通脹來自薪酬上漲,而薪酬上漲是短期失衡。拜登的民主黨政府正在推行兒童稅服優惠、交通網絡的優化及醫療保健的廣泛涵蓋,都是長期足以拖低通脹的措施。

    美國通脹看似來勢洶洶,甚或有人建議刺破泡沫從頭再起,筆者覺得並不可行。2008年美國誤判次按風暴影響力,導致今天的印鈔度日,䌓榮經濟背後的政策支持與民生有着千絲萬縷的關係。對付高通脹,亦只可摸着石頭過河,況且有大部分看似難以克服的通脹其實並非不可收拾。

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