Soaring prices draw both shrugs and screaming in Washington

June 18, 2021 ☼ economyinflationpandemic

Source: POLITICO - Link

Democrats and many economists say that since the numbers are year-over-year comparisons, they look worse than they are, given the severely depressed economic activity during national Covid lockdowns this time last year. And they note that much of the increase was driven by the rising price of used cars and trucks, as well as airline fares and clothing — all of which you’d expect as the country emerges from lockdown.

But the month-over-month core inflation number also rose more than expected. And some economists are now less convinced that sharp price increases will level off even as supply shortages from overseas ease, with U.S. consumer demand already soaring back to pre-Covid levels.

The “inflation is temporary” is a tough case to make. The actual course is likely not as bad as the screamers say, but will last a bit longer than the optimists want.