Friday , May 27 2022

U.S. consumer prices post largest annual gain in 40 years as inflation becomes widespread


High inflation, which has overshot the Fed’s 2 percent target, could imperil Biden’s economic agenda.

Financial markets speculate a hefty 50-basis point interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve next month.

US consumer prices rose firmly in January, leading to the biggest annual increase in inflation in 40 years, fueling financial markets speculation for a hefty 50-basis point interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve next month.

The broad increase in prices reported by the Labor Department on Thursday was led by soaring costs for rents, electricity and food, and could heap more political pressure on President Joe Biden, whose popularity has been declining amid anxiety over the rising cost of living.

High inflation, which has overshot the Fed’s 2 percent target, could imperil Biden’s economic agenda. Biden in a statement acknowledged the hardships American families are facing, but noted that “there are also signs that we will make it through this challenge.” He was alluding to the unchanged reading in the prices of motor vehicles, one of the major drivers of inflation.

“For the Fed, this report provides another wake-up call. Inflation is here and it continues to make its presence known everywhere,” said Alexander Lin, an economist at Bank of America Securities in New York. “We believe that today’s print endorses the Fed to move more quickly, and the market will likely encourage the Fed to hike 50 basis points at the next meeting.”

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