Wednesday, May 28, 2014

NBC: Price Inflation is About to Get Worse

I don't think price inflation ever left, but we are very close to an acceleration in price advances that will catch the Fed flat-footed.

NBC reports:
Inflation Returns Amid Rising Prices for Gas, Food and Housing

Three-dollar gas and the seemingly unending rise in grocery prices have bedeviled consumers for years, but all the while they've been told inflation pressures were nearly nonexistent.

In the summer of 2014, that finally could change.

Economists expect inflation to begin building to a point where even the Federal Reserve cannot deny. For years, officials at the central bank have been calling price gains in energy, food and produce "transitory" while noting that elsewhere in the economy—rents, utilities and the like—there was little pressure at all.

The months ahead promise to show that not only will price increases continue to build in food, but also in those other areas that have been under control since the Fed cut short-term interest rates to near zero...

With wages flat, prices rising and the Fed staying put, consumers could be in for a long summer.

Some of the price increases are staggering.

Compared year over year, ground beef is up 16.5 percent, bacon has risen 16.4 percent and eggs have spiked 10.5 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Oranges have soared 28.5 percent, grapes 24.8 percent and even wine is up 5.8 percent. Of the 75 price points the BLS follows, 52 have risen over the past 12 months.

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