After the Carter-era’s high inflation was finally quelled by Paul Volcker, many in America thought the country had seen the last of price increases that fast. Now, inflation has reached speeds not seen since 1981. Gabriel T. Rubin reports for The Wall Street Journal:
U.S. consumer inflation accelerated to 9.1% in June, a pace not seen in more than four decades, adding pressure on the Federal Reserve to act more aggressively to slow rapid price increases throughout the economy.
The consumer-price index’s advance for the 12 months ended in June was the fastest pace since November 1981, the Labor Department said on Wednesday. A big jump in gasoline prices—up 11.2% from the previous month and nearly 60% from a year earlier—drove much of the increase, while shelter and food prices were also major contributors.
The June inflation reading exceeded May’s 8.6% rate, prompting investors and analysts to debate whether the Fed would consider a one-percentage-point rate increase, rather than a 0.75-point rise, later this month. Slowing demand is key to the Fed’s goal of restoring price stability in an economy that is still struggling with supply issues, but raising interest rates also elevates the risk of a recession.
Core prices, which exclude volatile food and energy components, increased by 5.9% in June from a year earlier, slightly less than May’s 6.0% gain, the Labor Department said.
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