Skip to main content

A woman selects fruits at a supermarket.Frank Augstein/The Associated Press

Inflation could “become more sticky” in some parts of the world if supply-chain disruptions continue or inflation expectations become deanchored, the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday.

In the United States, the world’s largest economy, inflation is expected to move down in 2022, but policy makers should remain vigilant given upside risks, IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told a regular briefing.

“Continued high levels of U.S. inflation may necessitate a more front-loaded policy response, which would pose a systemic downside for both the U.S. and the global economy,” he said.

Mr. Rice said inflation expectations were generally anchored in most economies, adding, “But if the supply disruptions continue or inflation expectations become deanchored, inflation may become more sticky.”

He said central banks need to “stay vigilant” on inflationary pressures, and the IMF is working through scenarios on monetary and fiscal policy, including the spillover effects on emerging economies from monetary tightening in advanced economies.

New York Federal Reserve Bank president John Williams on Thursday said inflation in the U.S. is becoming more broad-based and expectations for future price hikes are rising, a trend policy makers will be watching closely.

Mr. Rice said natural gas prices had increased to record levels in some places around the world, but the IMF expected energy prices would revert to more normal levels over the course of next year when heating demand ebbs and supplies adjust.

He had no immediate comment on the Biden administration’s request that some of the world’s largest oil-consuming countries, including China and Japan, consider releasing some of their crude reserves in a co-ordinated effort to lower prices and stimulate the economic recovery.

Be smart with your money. Get the latest investing insights delivered right to your inbox three times a week, with the Globe Investor newsletter. Sign up today.