The Labor Department said Tuesday that the consumer price index – which measures the cost of goods including gasoline, health care, groceries and rents – rose 8.5% in March from a year ago, the fastest pace since December 1981, when inflation hit 8.9%. Prices jumped 1.2% in the one-month period from February, the largest month-to-month jump since 2005.
Strong consumer demand, supply chain constraints, and the ongoing war in Ukraine all appear to be contributing factors to the rising inflation, but the rising prices have "likely peaked," said Bank of America analysts on Tuesday.
According to Felix Simon for Axios, there was both good and bad news in Tuesday's inflation report. "The bad news: Consumer prices have risen by a shocking 8.5% over the past year, a rate of increase not seen in more than 40 years. The good news: That number has probably gotten as high as it's going to get, and could soon start coming down."
Why inflation may have already peaked (Felix Simon - Axios)
Many analysts and policymakers were caught off guard by the rapidly-increasing inflation figures, so Dylan Matthews for VOX takes a deep dive into the competing theories on inflation and what he and other experts got wrong." Due to a combination of rapidly growing wages through all of 2021, plus trillions in government fiscal support, there has just been too much money around combined with insufficient goods and services to spend it on."
How I (and US policymakers) got inflation wrong (Dylan Matthews - VOX)
Although much of the blame for inflation can be attributed to the government stimulus during the worst of the pandemic, according to Jessica Chasmar for FOXBusiness, "President Biden has gone through painstaking efforts to shirk responsibility for the state of the economy, blaming everyone from Russian President Vladimir Putin to meat conglomerates for record inflation."
On Tuesday, the President wrote in a tweet, "Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has driven up gas prices and food prices all over the world. 70% of the increase in prices in March came from the Putin Price Hike. I’m doing everything I can to bring down prices and address the Putin Price Hike."
The invasion of Ukraine has certainly contributed to food and energy prices while exacerbating the inflation issue, but simply not to the extent that the White House is claiming.
Biden, WH blame everything but government spending for inflation (Jessica Chasmar - FOXBusiness)
As a result of the economic situation and blame being shifted to the President, Biden's approval rating has fallen to a new low of 38% according to a recent CNBC survey.
"Americans harbor some of the most downbeat views on the economy since the recovery from the Great Recession, and some of their attitudes are in line with those seen only during recessions, according to the latest CNBC All-America Economic Survey," writes Steve Liesman for CNBC. "Amid soaring inflation, 47% of the public say the economy is 'poor,' the highest number in that category since 2012. Only 17% rank the economy as excellent or good, the lowest since 2014."
Biden’s approval falls to new low amid economic pessimism, inflation woes, CNBC survey finds (Steve Liesman - CNBC)