As inflation is something that we haven’t seen for a few decades, I am still trying to get my head around this trying to understand how this could influence investments going forward. In this posts I just wanted to touch three areas: Inflation linked bonds, pension liabilities and highly indebted countries.
- Inflation linkers
When looking for assets that gain or at least compensate for inflation, one should not forget Inflation linked bonds. Per construction, they compensate at least fully for the officially measured inflation.
In addition, Inflation linked bonds function also as an instrument to observe “implied” inflation rates, I.e. the market price of an inflation linked bond contains the investor’s expectation for future inflation rate.
The German agency for debt has a good page (in German) that explains how these securities work. One thing to mention is that most bonds are linked to Eurozone inflation, not German inflation.
Looking at the detail page of the 2033 linker we can see that this bond carries a 0,10% coupon and trades at a yield of -1,73%. Comparing this with the 2032 fixed rate bond (there is no 2033 fixed rate Bund) that yields around 1%, we can estimate that the difference between the two yields (1-1,73%)= 2,73% is the market’s current estimate for the inflation in the Eurozone for the next 10 years or so. (Remark: in reality, this is more complex, see for instance here, but for this exercise it is good enough).