Global inflation is far higher than official statistics reveal, Marc Faber, editor and publisher of the “Gloom, Boom and Doom” report told CNBC on Wednesday, with increases in the cost of living amounting to between five and eight percent in the United States and just below that in Europe.
In its latest release, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said the consumer price index (CPI) increased 0.5 percent in December, while the latest figures in for the euro zone show the inflation rate rose to 2.4 percent in January.
“I guarantee you … the annual cost of living increases are more than 5 percent, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics is lying,” Faber told CNBC at the Russia Forum in Moscow.
“Mr Bernanke is a liar; inflation is much higher than what they publish. I would imagine for most households it’s between five and eight percent per annum in the United States and in Western European countries maybe a little bit lower but also around four and five percent per annum,” he said.
In addition, Faber said high food prices, which have sparked political unrest in Egypt, would next cause turmoil in Pakistan.
“You may not have the problem in Saudi Arabia and the Emirates because there the governments can heavily subsidize food if they want to, but I’m particularly worried that what has happened in Egypt will happen in Pakistan,” he said.
Asked whether Pakistan would indeed see an Egypt-style uprising, he said: “I think that will be the case.”
“I think Egypt is a reminder to people that politics and social events and geopolitics have a meaningful impact on asset markets,” Faber said, adding that what the world was currently witnessing was “a wake up call where the US outperforms emerging markets for a while.”
“That doesn’t mean that the US goes up. It just may go down less than the others,” he said.
Turning to the global economic recovery, Faber said the West was bottoming out and recovering, which meant the global economy looked “OK” for the next six months.
But “we’re all doomed in the long run,” he said.
“We have to realize it’s an artificial recovery driven by ultra-expansionary, monetary policies and also ultra-expansionary fiscal policies. In other words, the deficits of governments are huge and that will lead down the road to renewed problems,” he said.