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Biden's America: Inflation Hits 7.5%, the Highest Rate Since 1982

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Inflation took its biggest leap in 40 years in January, according to new figures.

The Consumer Price Index rose 7.5 percent over January 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said in a release Thursday. That was the highest jump since February 1982.

“Increases in the indexes for food, electricity, and shelter were the largest contributors to the seasonally adjusted all items increase,” the bureau said.

Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton — a global accounting firm — was anticipating the bad news.

“There’s wage push inflation already here in the services sector, and it’s going to accelerate even as supply chain issues and the things [the Fed] thinks are transitory are going to abate,” she said Wednesday, according to CNBC.

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Swonk said inflation in the service sector is “hot enough to burn. Things like rents matter to people, and medical bills are going to go up.”

Consumer prices rose 0.6% from December 2021 to January, more than many economists had expected, according to The Associated Press. Meanwhile, Bloomberg noted that inflation is outstripping wages.

Inflation-adjusted wages dropped 1.7% in January compared with a year before, making it the 10th month in a row when prices have gone up faster than wages.

The AP used the forces impacting the fast-food chain Chipotle to demonstrate inflation’s impact.

The company has instituted a 10 percent menu price increase because it faces higher beef and transportation costs as well as higher wage costs to attract employees.

“We keep thinking that beef is going to level up and then go down, and it just hasn’t happened yet,” said John Hartung, the company’s chief financial officer.

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Bill Dunkelberg, chief economist for the National Federation of Independent Businesses, said small businesses are passing along cost increases in a bid to survive.

“More small-business owners started the new year raising prices in an attempt to pass on higher inventory, supplies and labor costs,” he told the AP. “In addition to inflation issues, owners are also raising compensation at record-high rates to attract qualified employees to their open positions.”

Bankrate Chief Financial Analyst Greg McBride said there is no immediate fix on the horizon, according to the New York Post.

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“Omicron has caused factory shutdowns and threatened port closures in parts of Asia, which will only perpetuate the type of supply chain constraints that are driving inflation higher,” McBride said. “Expected interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve will slow demand somewhat but won’t fix the supply chain.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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