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March 10, 2022

Ho, Hum, Inflation Sets Another Record, Hitting the Highest Level in 40 Years

Same Brandon different day.

US inflation soared 7.9% in past year, a fresh 40-year high By CHRISTOPHER RUGABER

WASHINGTON (AP) Propelled by surging costs for gas, food and housing, consumer inflation jumped 7.9% over the past year, the sharpest spike since 1982 and likely only a harbinger of even higher prices to come.

The increase reported Thursday by the Labor Department reflected the 12 months ending in February and didn't include the oil and gas price surges that followed Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. Since then, average gas prices nationally have jumped about 62 cents a gallon to $4.32, according to AAA.

Even before the war further accelerated price increases, robust consumer spending, solid pay raises and persistent supply shortages had sent U.S. inflation to its highest level in four decades. What's more, housing costs, which make up about a third of the government's consumer price index, have risen sharply, a trend that's unlikely to reverse anytime soon.

Oh look, they forgot to mention the fact that the dollar was devalued by multiple rounds of multitrillion dollar "stimulus."

"The numbers are eye-watering, and there is more to come," said Eric Winograd, senior economist at asset management firm AllianceBernstein. "The peak in inflation will be much higher than previously thought and will arrive later than previously expected."

...

Seeking to stem the inflation surge, the Federal Reserve is set to raise interest rates several times this year, beginning with a quarter-point hike next week. The Fed faces a delicate challenge, though: If it tightens credit too aggressively this year, it risks undercutting the economy and possibly triggering a recession.

That's Our Brandon!

From January to February, nearly every category of goods and services got pricier. Grocery costs jumped 1.4%, the sharpest one-month increase since 1990, other than during a pandemic-induced price surge two years ago. The collective price of fruits and vegetables rose 2.3%, the largest monthly increase since 2010. Gas prices spiked 6.6%, clothing 0.7%.

For the 12 months ending in February, grocery prices leapt 8.6%, the biggest year-over-year increase since 1981, the government said. Gas prices are up a whopping 38%. And housing costs have risen 4.7%, the largest yearly jump since 1991.

Lydia Boussour, an economist at Oxford Economics, estimates that if oil remains at $120 a barrel for the rest of this year -- which it topped Tuesday before slipping -- it would cost U.S. households $1,500, on average. It would also weaken economic growth by about 0.8 percentage point this year, she said. Many economists have cut their growth estimates for 2022 by roughly a half-point to about 2.5%.

I saw a forecaster predicting $150 per barrel.

Abigail Marone @abigailmarone

Terrible February numbers. Biden WH can't blame this on Putin too but I'm sure they'll try

They'll introduce the Precognitive Price Index.


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posted by Ace at 01:42 PM

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