The cyclical uptick in inflation is a blip

The story for the next year or two will be an uptick in inflation. The global economy is good, jobs are plentiful and people are spending.

But the story for the next decade or two will be falling or flat prices. Demographics in the developed world are a huge challenge and technology is deflationary.

The landscape is increasingly brutal in retail. Shares of Walmart are down 10% today as they revealed slowing traction in ecommerce. They've also been placed on defense on groceries as Amazon moves in and threatens to squeeze the already razor-thin margins.

Amazon revealed today it will give Amazon Prime members who use the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa 5% cash back on all their purchases at Whole Foods. That's a powerful incentive on a card that has no fees.

It's yet-another example of how Amazon is ruthlessly competing on every front and expanding into more. Walmart's supply chain is legendary and Amazon is finding ways to undercut them while investing in cashier-less grocery stores.