Welcome to The Agency Brief — a regular briefing on the main things going on in the world that agency leaders should know about.

We analyse a wide range of sources and distill it into a summary you can use in your strategic planning.

Here's your briefing for this month.

Inflation consternation

There are gathering signs of inflation worries. With the impact of its coranavirus vaccination programme the US has begun opening up. As a result US consumer prices have surged, driven largely by pandemic recovery and supply chain shortages. In the UK, there was surprise at the sharp rise in inflation in June.  Economists are already beginning to express fear of overheating.

We identified inflation as a substantial risk of the pandemic aftershocks in the Radar Report for H2 2021. While it seems that the current surge in inflation is a global phenomenon — as nations that have made substantial progress with their vaccination programmes increasingly open up to hasten some sort of economic recovery, but there are still global supply issues and workforce shortages — it will be felt most in national economies at the societal level.

This is not a moment to panic. There are some nuances that should probably be read into the published figures. But it is important to remain watchful and prepared. Published inflation rates are higher than expected and may be an indication of prospects of the economic climate for the next six months.

Agency leaders should anticipate some turbulence: