Inflation Rises to Highest Level in 30 Years as Prices Continue to Grow

Inflation continued to grow in October, marking the biggest increase in consumer prices in 30 years, NPR reports.

Consumer prices in October were 6.2% higher than during the same time a year ago, marking the largest increase since 1990.

Prices were up 0.9% compared to a month earlier.

Few industries were spared. Food and energy costs rose 4.6% and housing and car prices also continued to grow.

The Energy Department predicts that heating bills will be up 54% this winter.

The administration and the Federal Reserve have argued that the rising inflation is a temporary result of the economy emerging from the pandemic. And there are some positive signs: wholesale prices rose slower last month than earlier this year.

"The inflation numbers you're seeing are related in my best judgement to the pandemic-related disruption," Mary Daly, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, told NPR. "They should subside as the pandemic recedes. And if they don't, we're prepared to use every policy tool that we have to deliver price stability and full employment."

Supply chain disruptions:

A major reason for the staggering growth is the global supply chain disruption.

Factory closings, backed-up ports, and a shortage of truck drivers have contributed to falling supply amid growing demand as the economy recovers.

The supply chain issues have caused shipping costs for furniture, cars, food, and other products to sharply grow.

And shortages of certain components, like computer chips and vegetable oil, have resulted in slower output by US manufacturers.

It now takes nearly twice as long for a Chinese product to be delivered to a US warehouse than it did two years ago. And the cost of shipping a TV has climbed from $3.66 in 2019 to $48.03.

“Almost all consumer goods are going to be impacted,” Dawn Tiura, the chief executive of Sourcing Industry Group, told The New York Times. “It’s not going to let up anytime soon.”

Biden vows that inflation is top priority:

“Inflation hurts Americans pocketbooks, and reversing this trend is a top priority for me,” President Joe Biden said in a statement.

“I have directed my National Economic Council to pursue means to try to further reduce these costs, and have asked the Federal Trade Commission to strike back at any market manipulation or price gouging in this sector,” he said. “Other price increases reflect the ongoing struggle to restore smooth operations in the economy in the restart.”

Biden said that his proposed Build Back Better plan will ease inflation.

“We are making progress on our recovery,” he said. “Jobs are up, wages are up, home values are up, personal debt is down, and unemployment is down. We have more work to do, but there is no question that the economy continues to recover and is in much better shape today than it was a year ago.”


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