CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Monday said the Federal Reserve cannot get a clear vision of the economy right now because macro factors and unpredictable human behavior are distorting the markets.
“Nothing in this economy is working like it’s supposed to, nothing is predictable. History’s a terrible guide right now because we’ve never been in this situation before,” said Cramer.
Over a year into the war in Ukraine, food and oil prices are massively warped, according to Cramer. Both of these markets have been artificially dictated by geopolitics rather than the natural dynamics of supply and demand.
Meanwhile, auto demand is stubbornly high while the economy is concurrently down. That’s because the supply strain of semiconductors slowed down auto production creating a backlog of car demand.
The economy also has been twisted by pandemic-era government financial assistance like unemployment subsidies and student loan forgiveness, which has exacerbated inflation.
Fears of a recession also have led to buyers purchasing 10-year Treasury bonds “at absurdly low levels,” said Cramer, which pushed down mortgage rates and led housing demand and prices to balloon even as rates get higher.
Finally, more people than ever are embracing the ethos of “you only live once,” Cramer said. They are coming out of the pandemic and leaving the job market, pushing up travel demand and creating all sorts of unpredictable patterns.
With all of these factors, Cramer said, “it’s insanely hard to predict consumer behavior, which is why the Fed’s moves to date seem to have little impact.”