U.S. consumer prices climbed in April by the most since 2009, topping forecasts and intensifying the already-heated debate about how long inflationary pressures will last.
The consumer price index increased 0.8% from the prior month, reflecting gains in nearly every major category and a sign burgeoning demand is giving companies latitude to pass on higher costs. Excluding the volatile food and energy components, the so-called core CPI rose 0.9% from March, the most since 1982, according to Labor Department data Wednesday.
The gain in the overall CPI was twice as much as the highest projection in a Bloomberg survey of economists. Similar to last week’s monthly jobs report, forecasters are struggling to get a handle on the rapidly reopening economy.[…]
The annual CPI figure surged to 4.2%, the most since 2008 though a figure distorted by the comparison to the pandemic-depressed index in April 2020. This phenomenon — known as the base effect — will skew the May figure as well, likely muddling the ongoing inflation debate.
Let’s see… inflation up; gas shortages; stock market crashing; horrible jobs report; Middle East on fire; southern boarder is a humanitarian crisis; and a president who can’t string three extemporaneous sentences together… this whole Biden thing seems to be going well.