Investment Institute

All rise: Assessing inflation risk in a post-pandemic world

Inflation arises from complex interactions between multiple factors over long periods, making it difficult to predict. Ninety One’s Investment Institute explores inflation in theory and practice, and considers what history tells us about the inflationary outlook now.

25 Jan 2021

52 minutes


  • Inflation theories: what makes prices rise?
  • A brief history of recent inflationary episodes
  • The structural factors driving inflation, and why they’re changing
  • Inflation outlook for the US: why it could be different this time


A change in the low-inflation regime that has characterised the last decade would have profound implications for investors. In this paper, Ninety One’s Investment Institute explores what past periods of sustained price rises tell us about the inflation outlook now, and argues that inflationary pressures are building, especially in the US. A rerun of the 1970s seems unlikely. But in the wake of the pandemic, investors shouldn’t bank on a repeat of the super-low inflation that followed the Global Financial Crisis. Conditions now are fundamentally different, which could lead to a different inflation outcome.

Read the paper

General risks

All investments carry the risk of capital loss. The value of investments, and any income generated from them, can fall as well as rise and will be affected by changes in interest rates, currency fluctuations, general market conditions and other political, social and economic developments, as well as by specific matters relating to the assets in which the investment strategy invests. If any currency differs from the investor’s home currency, returns may increase or decrease as a result of currency fluctuations. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.

Authored by

Sahil Mahtani

Strategist, Investment Institute

Russell Silberston

Investment Strategist – Macro-economic and policy research

Iain Cunningham

Portfolio Manager

Jason Borbora-Sheen

Portfolio Manager

Important Information

This communication is provided for general information only should not be construed as advice.

All the information in is believed to be reliable but may be inaccurate or incomplete. The views are those of the contributor at the time of publication and do not necessary reflect those of Ninety One.

Any opinions stated are honestly held but are not guaranteed and should not be relied upon.

All rights reserved. Issued by Ninety One.