Inflation Spikes to New 40-Year High, with Food and Gas Prices Leading the Surge
A new report shows inflation hitting 40-year highs.
The personal consumption expenditures index rose by 6.4 percent in February, the largest increase since 1982, according to The New York Times.
The PCE posted a 6.1 percent increase in January. The index mirrors the more widely known consumer price index, which rose 7.9 percent in February.
Within the PCE data, food prices rose 1.4 percent, according to Axios.
Consumer prices were up 6.4% in February from a year earlier (per the PCE price index). That’s the fastest year-over-year increase since 1982. pic.twitter.com/xM57i7hG40
— Ben Casselman (@bencasselman) March 31, 2022
Although President Joe Biden has tried to blame skyrocketing gas prices on the Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the new data shows that energy prices rose 3.7 last month — largely before the invasion took place.
What is considered the core rate by the Federal Reserve, without food and energy prices that tend to be more volatile, rose to 5.4 percent, up from 5.2 percent in January, according to MarketWatch.
The increase in that measure was the largest since 1983.
Richard Moody, chief economist of Regions Financial, said the factors that led to the increase will “sustain inflation pressures for some time to come.”
In an Op-Ed published on Fox Business, Steve Forbes, chairman of Forbes Media, criticized the Biden administration’s response to inflation.
“The best thing Washington can do is to get out of the way. The free market will eventually sort out the disruptions brought on by those lockdowns,” Forbes wrote.
“Unfortunately, the Biden crowd is playing havoc with this healing process,” he wrote.
Forbes wrote that although pandemic spending might have been a necessity in early 2020, “it was clear by the end of 2020 that the spending was overdone.”
“Nonetheless, the newly-installed Biden administration ginned up even more spending,” he said. “The tsunami of federal expenditures would have been far worse if Congress hadn’t halted the President’s obese Build Back Better bill. Still, we had lots of money and disrupted supply. Prices go up.”
Almost $250 billion in #COVID relief has been lost or stolen.
There’s $300 billion that hasn’t even been spent.
Joe Biden wants $22 billion more, plus a $5.8 trillion budget!
Are they trying to make the inflation crisis worse?
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) March 31, 2022
Forbes noted that the Russian invasion is a contributing factor to global food shortages but said even there the Biden administration is bungling the solution.
“To be sure, events can trigger higher prices, the prime one now being Putin’s barbarous invasion of Ukraine and its impact on the cost of food,” he wrote. “Ukraine has been called the breadbasket of Europe. It’s hard to plant seeds when bombs are falling. The US Department of Agriculture projects that Russian and Ukrainian wheat exports will fall by at least 7 million metric tons this year.
“Ukraine could win this war fairly quickly if the Biden enabled the country to get all the weapons it needs.”
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