Inflation: long term top or century breakout?

ECONOMICS:USIRYY   United States Inflation Rate, YoY
Inflation Hits Fastest Pace Since 1981, at 8.5% Through March
Gasoline weighed heavily in the increases, while prices moderated in several categories. Some economists say the overall rate may have peaked.

Inflation hit 8.5 percent in the United States last month, the fastest 12-month pace since 1981, as a surge in gasoline prices tied to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine added to sharp increases coming from the collision of strong demand and stubborn pandemic-related supply shortages.

Fuel prices jumped to record levels across much of the nation and grocery costs soared, the Labor Department said Tuesday in its monthly report on the Consumer Price Index. The price pressures have been painful for American households, especially those that have lower incomes and devote a big share of their budgets to necessities.

But the news was not uniformly bad: A measure that strips out volatile food and fuel prices decelerated slightly from February as used car prices swooned. Economists and policymakers took that as a sign that inflation in goods might be starting to cool off after climbing at a breakneck pace for much of the past year.

In fact, several economists said March may be a high-water mark for overall inflation . Price increases could begin abating in the coming months in part because gasoline prices have declined somewhat — the national average for a gallon was $4.10 on Tuesday, according to AAA , down from a $4.33 peak in March. Some researchers also expect consumers to stop buying so many goods, whether furniture or outdoor equipment, which could begin to take pressure off overtaxed supply chains.

By Jeanna Smialek NYT
April 12, 2022

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