“The current situation is different from past episodes when geopolitical events led the Fed to delay tightening or ease because inflation risk has created a stronger and more urgent reason for the Fed to tighten today,” researchers at Goldman Sachs wrote in an analysis note.

Plus, with wages rising and consumers increasingly expecting high inflation in the coming years, the fact that the conflict has the potential to further elevate prices could strike the central bank as problematic.

“Further increases in commodity prices might be more worrisome than usual,” they wrote.

Some economists warned that the Russian invasion in some ways echoed the inflationary episode of the 1970s: Back then, price increases were already rapid, and a sharp oil price increase pushed inflation up further and made it stick around. The Arab oil embargo of 1973-74 and the Iranian revolution of 1979 both contributed to an oil supply shortage.

“There is something eerily reminiscent of the 1970s and the surge in energy prices associated with Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine,” Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton, wrote on Twitter Thursday. “It couldn’t happen at a worse time as it is pouring fuel over an already kindled fire of inflation.”

Economists have released varying estimates of how much an oil price shock could bolster inflation in the coming months.

If oil increases to $120 per barrel by the end of February, past the $95 mark it hovered around last week, inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index could climb close to 9 percent in the next couple of months, instead of a projected peak of a little below 8 percent, said Alan Detmeister, an economist at UBS who formerly led the prices and wages section at the Fed.

The Goldman researchers said that as a rule of thumb, a $10 per barrel increase in the price of oil would increase headline inflation in the United States by about a fifth of a percentage point, and lowers gross domestic product growth by just under 0.1 percentage point.

“The growth hit could be somewhat larger if geopolitical risk tightens financial conditions materially and increases uncertainty for businesses,” they wrote.

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General Motors plans 8,000 new tech hires to power EV goals

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The new GM logo is seen on the facade of the General Motors headquarters in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., March 16, 2021.REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/File Photo

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Jan 26 (Reuters) – General Motors Co (GM.N) said on Wednesday it would hire more than 8,000 new technical staff this year, as the U.S. automaker accelerates its development of electric vehicles and software-driven services.

The company said it is expanding teams that electrify cars, develop vehicle software and autonomous technology and engineer fuel cells.

GM’s announcement comes just a day after the company unveiled a $7 billion investment plan in Michigan, mainly toward making full-size electric pickups, intensifying a battle with rival Ford Motor Co (F.N) for EV supremacy in North America. read more

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The automaker, which was dethroned as the U.S. sales leader in 2021 by Japanese rival Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T), plans to boost its North America EV production capacity to more than a million units by late 2025.

It will also have to contend with current EV leader Tesla (TSLA.O), which will soon open a second U.S. plant in Austin, Texas, and is on pace to sell more than 1 million electric vehicles globally in 2022.

GM is also looking to expand its digital commerce footprint by launching an online used vehicle market called CarBravo. read more

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Reporting by Kannaki Deka in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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