Inflation rises to 7.9 percent for February 2022
Rapid inflation began early last year, and economists initially predicted it would fade by the end of 2021 as the economy reopened from the pandemic and conditions returned to normal.
Instead, turmoil in supply chains was hit by strong consumer demand for the goods, and price gains accelerated. Now, how quickly and by how much prices will drop in 2022 is becoming uncertain as conflict overseas threatens to confound shipping routes and keep key parts scarce. Ukraine is a significant producer of neon, which may keep computer chips in short supply, making up for a shortage from automakers. Higher energy costs can lead to prosperity through other industries.
There is still reason to think that price gains will slow somewhat. Starting with the March figures, they will trail the higher readings from last year, which should mechanically reduce year-over-year measurements. But it is not clear when they will back away from the Fed’s 2 percent inflation target. The central bank defines that target using a different inflation index, but one that is also higher.
For people like Timothy Gutbrod, 61, and Albany, rapid inflation has led to a lifestyle change. Mr Gutbrod, who previously worked as a stage actor, has been a driving instructor since March 2020, and the job pays him a little over $30,000 per year. Since high gas prices have made his commute and everyday purchases more expensive, he is eating less.
For someone who had been a Manhattanite for a long time, it’s a real loss, Mr. Gutbrod said. He used to enjoy three restaurant brunch or dinner every week. Now it’s the same every two weeks.
“I used to go for leisurely drives,” he said, but now pleasure rides are not cheap. “I’m on a great budget, and I work very hard. For anyone who doesn’t make a lot of money, you have to be wise and start cutting corners.”
As it plagues everyday life, inflation could haunt Democrats and administrations as they fight to retain control of Congress in November. Despite abundant jobs and rapidly rising wages, consumer confidence has fallen to its lowest level since the summer of 2011, when the economy was retreating from the global financial crisis and Congress disputed lifting the country’s debt limits. Was.
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