U.S. inflation reaches 13-year high: 5.4%

Originally published at: U.S. inflation reaches 13-year high: 5.4% | Boing Boing


Bryan Cranston Reaction GIF


Yeah, chicken breasts cost as much as steak. WTF?


It’s a disturbing figure and one that ordinary people are feeling every day in the grocery store. There is some question whether this spike is a temporary anomaly caused by the pandemic’s disruption of the supply chain or is something that won’t go away anytime soon.

Keep in mind that the latter scenario is often used by “free”-market fundies as a boogeyman to stop things like a higher minimum wage and stimulus payments and to promote the debt hawkishness that conveniently only emerges when there’s a Dem president.


So the 2% raise I was happy about getting means I’m still more than 3% behind.

Ro Reaction GIF by Rosanna Pansino


This will be spun as a Biden failure, but as I understand it, it is a rebound of the economy with consumers wanting more product, and both manufacturing and distribution still not at 100%, with log jams in the distribution network. Gas prices are from increased travel (and shipping). Rental cars are from all the places selling the bulk of their fleets in 2020, and not fully replenishing them since - which they can’t as their is a new car shortage. And that new car shortage has lead to a used car shortage as well.

IMO, in some cases good makers are also taking this opportunity to raise prices because they can. Both due to demand, and because people expect price increase in general. And in many cases, their raw goods have increased in price.


“Inflation” is going to be the main argument the GOP is going to cry against Biden’s infrastructure bill. So make sure you are very accurate when reporting inflation or you are going to just feed the trolls.

High inflation is also used as a justification to raise interest rates, which directly leads to lost jobs.

The first thing you can do is report the 24 month annualized number rather than the 12 month number. Measuring from an abnormal dip inflates the number. 3.3% when your target is 3.3%.

Ask yourself – would I rather have more inflation or more jobs. At some point you have to sacrifice jobs to curb inflation. But for the last 20 years the fed has erred on the side of curbing inflation too strongly. Maybe this time they are erring on the side of too much inflation and too many jobs. But I don’t think so, at least not yet.


Weird how gas is up 42%; but demand is down so much.

Rental cars being up 43%. More expected- people trying to avoid public transport has even hit that market at airports from non flyers.

But at those prices- plan your necessary trips to avoid needing a car. As best possible.


So we are at 8.8 mil barrels / day up from 8 mil during the pandemic, but still down from a peak of 9.3.
Demand hasn’t change 42%. I see it more as refinery capacity. The price of diesel is cheaper than premium unleaded and that’s not typical.


if only there was some sort of national infrastructure plan to get us off of this oil seesaw :thinking:


Not sure why this is suddenly a story when most of the increases were happening months ago. The September CPI is up just 0.27% vs August and the August number was up only 0.21% vs July (the two smallest monthly increases of the year), but back in the spring the CPI increased by 3.3% in just 4 months (271.696 in June vs 263.014 in February).

Why am I being told there’s a huge problem when actually things seem to be finally settling down? :thinking:


THIS. Prices keep rising for everything, and yet we are still at a very flat pay level in relation to cost of living.





Why am I being told there’s a huge problem when actually things seem to be finally settling down?

Because we need to justify austerity measures!


Everything you said, plus isn’t inflation normally calculated year over year? Crude oil prices went negative for a little while last year, and refined gas was at record lows for the decade. Maybe looking at 2021’s prices compared to 2019 would be more useful.


The September 2019 CPI was 256.759, so last month’s CPI was a 6.8% increase compared to 2 years ago. Looking over the last 20 years worth of September CPI values & comparing them to the 2 year older value, the average 24 month increase was 4.4%, so 2021 is on the high side but so were 2008 (up 7.8% vs 2006), 2006 (up 6.8% vs 2004), and 2005 (up 7.3% vs 2003).

(CPI values for the last 100 years & more are available here.)


Prices are up from this time last year because (a) the economy was bleeding out this time last year and (b) a lot of factories were shut down which is now biting us in the ass in the form of scarcity, NOT dollar-specific weakness.

The only interesting thing here is that the pandemic seems to have made working shitty jobs for below-subsistence wages a bridge too far for a lot of American workers. Which is a good thing even though it’s helping prices creep up.

But yeah, no, it’s exactly like Zimbabwe.


The list in that second tweet had me wondering who would be least likely to notice this inflation. I’ve settled on nudist vegans in a temperate climate.
So, all the rest of us will notice.


Or maybe somebody thinks it will motivate people to go back to work.

You know what will motivate people to go back to work? Living wages, decent working conditions, PTO for a better quality of life, etc.