How Artificial Intelligence is Transforming the Economy: The Impact on Output and Inflation

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How Artificial Intelligence is Transforming the Economy: The Impact on Output and Inflation
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Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly becoming one of the most transformative technologies of our era. As AI advances and becomes more widely adopted, it is poised to have a profound impact on economic growth, productivity, and even inflation. In this blog post, we'll dive deep into how AI is reshaping industries, boosting output, and potentially influencing inflation in both the short and long term.

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The AI Revolution: A New Era of Productivity Growth

At its core, AI is a general-purpose technology that has the potential to significantly boost productivity across a wide range of industries. By automating tasks, enhancing decision-making, and enabling innovation, AI is already making workers and businesses more efficient and effective. Some key ways AI is driving productivity include:

• Automating routine cognitive tasks, freeing up workers to focus on higher-value activities
• Providing intelligent assistance and recommendations, enhancing worker performance
• Enabling faster and more accurate data analysis, leading to better business decisions
• Spurring innovation by accelerating research and development cycles

Real-world examples of AI boosting productivity are everywhere. For instance, customer support agents using AI-powered conversational assistants can handle 14% more inquiries per hour. AI-assisted software developers can code twice as many projects per week. And businesses using AI for writing tasks have seen a 40% reduction in time spent writing.

As AI continues to advance and become more widely adopted, many economists believe it could drive a new era of productivity growth, potentially raising annual productivity growth by 1-1.5 percentage points over the next decade. This AI-driven productivity boom could have significant implications for economic growth and living standards.

AI Across Industries: Who Benefits the Most?

While AI is a general-purpose technology, its impact is likely to vary significantly across industries. Some sectors, particularly those with a high share of cognitive work like finance and professional services, are primed to benefit more from AI. Others like agriculture and transportation may see more modest productivity gains, at least initially.

However, an industry's initial exposure to AI doesn't necessarily predict its ultimate gains. General equilibrium effects and spillovers between industries can lead to surprising outcomes. For instance, as AI makes some industries more productive, the relative prices of their outputs may fall. This can spur demand and production in downstream industries (Aldasoro et al., 2024).

Ultimately, the industries that may benefit most are those producing goods and services closest to final demand, especially consumption goods and services. When AI boosts productivity in these industries, it can free up resources to flow to other sectors, creating a virtuous cycle of expanding output across the economy (Aldasoro et al., 2024).

The Inflation Puzzle: Will AI be a Friend or Foe?

While AI's potential to boost economic growth seems clear, its implications for inflation are more complex. In the short run, AI could actually be disinflationary. As businesses adopt AI and become more productive, they may be able to produce more output with the same inputs, effectively expanding aggregate supply. If aggregate demand lags behind, this could put downward pressure on prices (Aldasoro et al., 2024).

However, as AI-driven productivity gains flow through to workers' incomes and spending, aggregate demand should catch up. At that point, AI could become inflationary, as rising consumer spending pushes up against capacity constraints. The speed of this transition from disinflation to inflation may depend crucially on how quickly households and businesses adjust their expectations (Aldasoro et al., 2024).

If people don't anticipate the full impact of future AI-driven productivity gains, the initial disinflationary phase could last a while, followed by a gradual rise in inflation. But if AI's transformative potential is widely recognized and anticipated, inflation could pick up much more quickly as households and businesses pull forward spending (Aldasoro et al., 2024).

This creates a tricky balancing act for monetary policymakers. Depending on how AI's impact unfolds, central banks may need to initially ease policy to support demand and ward off deflation, only to then tighten aggressively to keep inflation in check as the economic boom kicks into high gear. Monitoring inflation expectations will be crucial (Aldasoro et al., 2024).

Riding the Wave: How to Position for an AI-Powered Economy

For businesses and investors, the rise of AI presents both opportunities and challenges. On one hand, companies that are able to successfully harness AI to boost productivity could see significant gains in market share and profitability. But at the same time, the AI revolution could also accelerate creative destruction, upending established business models and creating new winners and losers.

To navigate this new landscape, businesses will need to be proactive in understanding and adopting AI technologies, as well as in managing the workforce transitions that may come with it. Investors will need to be discerning in identifying the companies and industries best positioned to thrive in an AI-powered economy.

Policymakers also have a key role to play in fostering an environment conducive to AI-driven growth. This may include investments in AI research and development, digital infrastructure, and education and workforce training programs. At the same time, policies will be needed to address the distributional impacts of AI and support workers through job transitions.


AI has the potential to be a game-changing technology for the economy, driving a new era of productivity growth and transformation across industries. While the exact trajectory remains uncertain, it seems increasingly clear that AI will have profound implications for economic growth, inflation dynamics, and the future of work in the years ahead.

As we navigate this new frontier, businesses, investors, and policymakers will all have critical roles to play in harnessing the power of AI while managing its challenges and risks. By doing so, we can create a future in which the benefits of AI are broadly shared, driving greater prosperity and opportunity for all.

Key Takeaways:

• AI is a general-purpose technology with the potential to significantly boost productivity and economic growth across industries
• AI's impact will vary across sectors, with those producing consumption goods and services potentially benefiting most
• In the short run, AI could be disinflationary as it expands aggregate supply, but over time it may become inflationary as demand catches up
• The speed of AI's inflationary impact may depend on how quickly people adjust their expectations
• Businesses, investors, and policymakers all have key roles to play in positioning for an AI-powered economy

P.S. How do you think AI will reshape your industry in the years ahead? What steps are you taking to prepare? Let me know in the comments below!

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog are not necessarily those of the blog writer and his affiliations and are for informational purposes only.

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Aldasoro, I., Doerr, S., Gambacorta, L., & Rees, D. (2024). The impact of artificial intelligence on output and inflation. BIS Working Papers No 1179.

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