The Consumer Price Index (CPI) climbed 4.2 percent annually in April. Compared with March, prices rose 0.8 percent according to the Department of Labor and generally under reported by media. This CPI records the largest increase since 2008, but exclude food and energy, categories that can be volatile month-to-month. CPI rose three times faster than the estimates of 2.3 percent.
Families can see the “food and energy” not included as they review expense for gas and groceries. Federal Reserve officials reportedly believe this will last only a few months and that inflation will be transitory. Other economists worry the higher that expected jump in CPI could trend to “runaway inflation” which occurs when prices not only rise but accelerate, as the cost of living grows and consumer purchasing power falls. Recent economic history in Venezuela show a modern “worst case” of inflationary impact often associated with Marxists governments.
Breitbart.com reports, “In the past, rising inflation has usually led to higher pay as workers have demanded and received raises to keep pace. In fact, inflation can’t really accelerate for long without sizable wage gains. Yet pay raises — if they do occur — typically lag behind price increases, thereby squeezing consumers at least temporarily. And eventually, pay gains themselves will fuel further inflation: Companies raise prices further to offset higher wages for their employees.
“Not since the late 1960s and early ’70s has the United States endured chronic high inflation, with consumer prices rising at or near double-digit percentages from one year to the next. In fact, the reverse has been true for about a decade: Inflation has remained persistently below the 2 percent annual target set by the Federal Reserve. Under Chair Jerome Powell, the Fed is betting that it can keep rates ultra-low even as the economic recovery kicks into high gear — and that it won’t have to quickly raise rates to stop runaway inflation,” Breitbart added.