Inflation: US inflation is down slightly, but gas and food are still up

Inflation in the United States cooled slightly in April, rising at an annual rate of 8.3%, according to Wednesday. US Department of Labor ReportMany consumer categories, including basic essentials, still saw double-digit growth a year ago.

The average rate in April was 8.5% lower than the previous year in March, the highest rate since 1981.

Falling gasoline prices in April helped lower overall inflation, but pump prices rose in May, Wednesday AAA ReportThe average price per gallon of US regulars was $ 4.40, the highest ever.

Mountain West, including Utah, continued to have the highest regional inflation in the country, with average prices for goods and services rising 9.8% in April, up from a 10.4% rise in March.

Labor shelter, food, airfare, and new car indexes were the biggest contributors to the rise in all seasonally adjusted items, according to a report from the Ministry of Labor. The food index rose 0.9% in a month as the home food index rose 1%. The energy index rose in recent months and then fell in April. The gasoline index fell 6.1% in a month, offsetting the rise in the natural gas and electricity indexes.

Food costs increased by 10.8% compared to a year ago, gasoline costs increased by an average of 43.6% compared to April 2021, and shelter-related costs increased 5.1% last year.

Prices for new and used cars also continue to rise by 13.2% and 22.2%, respectively.

Beyond the financial burden of households, inflation is causing serious political problems for President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress during the midterm election season. Payment of aid and child tax credits.

On Tuesday, Biden sought to take the lead, proclaiming inflation as “the biggest problem facing families today” and “my national top priority.”

Biden blamed inflation for the rapid economic recovery from the pandemic and the chronic supply chain roar associated with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He said his administration will help mitigate price increases by reducing the government’s budget deficit and promoting competition in industries such as Meatpacking, which is dominated by a few industry giants. Stated.

Still, new turmoil and other unforeseen problems abroad can always bring US inflation back to new highs. For example, if the European Union decides to block Russia’s oil, US gas prices could accelerate. China’s blockade of COVID has exacerbated supply problems and hindered the growth of the world’s second-largest economy.

Due to the persistence of unexpectedly high inflation, the Federal Reserve has embarked on what could be the fastest series of interest rate hikes in 33 years. Last week, the Fed halved benchmark short-term interest rates. This is the sharpest rise in 20 years. And Powell signaled that more such sharp rate hikes would come.

The Powell Fed is trying to perform the infamous difficult and risky task of cooling the economy enough to slow inflation without causing a recession. Economists say such results are possible, but unlikely for such high inflation.

Since last summer Utahns has recorded growing concerns about widespread price increases for goods and services.Emotions tracked by monthly polling conducted by Deseret News in collaboration with the Hinckley Institute of Politics.

so State-wide polls conducted by Dan Jones & Associates From March 9-21, of the 804 registered Utah voters, the overwhelming majority of respondents, 93%, are very much about inflation, which is the number that pollsters have heard from Utah. He said he was concerned to some extent. In the February survey..

Poll participants also recorded concerns that household income was simply not keeping up with rising costs, and said most people had not seen a significant increase in salaries over the past year.

38% of respondents said they had seen an increase over the last 12 months, 62% said their income did not change, and 75% of those surveyed said wages simply did not keep up with inflation. I did.

In the same March survey Utahns they thought were responsible for rising inflation.. Respondents were largely in line with expressing concern about widespread price increases, but responded more diversely to questions about who should be held responsible.

Not surprisingly, the faction probably played a role in a survey of 804 registered voters conducted March 9-21. When asked, “Who is responsible for inflation and what is responsible for it?”, Several respondents (33%) turned to the Democratic Party.

Republicans worked much better, earning only 6% in blame games, while the Federal Reserve was seen as slightly responsible at 8%. For 17% of poll participants, the prices and policies of American companies were the cause of inflation, and 23% believed that higher costs could be traced back to the economic downturn from COVID-19.

The poll results have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.45 percentage points.

contribution: Associated Press

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https://www./utah/2022/5/11/23066757/us-inflation-gas-prices-eases-slightly-costs-basic-necessities-still-seeing-steep-increases Inflation: US inflation is down slightly, but gas and food are still up

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