Sat, 20 Aug 2022

U.S. suffering thru highest inflation in three decades

Robert Besser
01 Dec 2021, 07:55 GMT+10

WASHINGTON D.C.: US inflation has reached its highest level since 1991, according to the Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index, the Federal Reserve's preferred measure of inflation.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, in October inflation hit a year-over-year rate of 4.1 percent.

After nearly two years of aggressive monetary stimulus following the lockdown-induced recession caused by COVID-19, the Federal Reserve announced plans to slow its bond purchases.

Policymakers also announced that they would decrease its monthly asset purchases costing $120 billion by $15 billion in both November and December.

However, the central bank is expected by many economists to further tap the breaks on its quantitative easing.

But some policymakers demanded spending on asset purchases be scaled back more quickly, according to reported comments from a Federal Reserve meeting in November.

"They are going to accelerate tapering in December, and it now looks like growth could easily cross 6 percent, and could approach 7 percent in the fourth quarter. The Fed has to adjust," said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton, as reported by CNBC.

"If they want to have any distance whatsoever between tapering and liftoff, they need to get it out of the way. It is justified. We have a strong economy," she added.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell, who was originally tapped by President Donald Trump in 2018, has been nominated by President Joe Biden for a second term.

In a statement, Biden said, "When our country was hemorrhaging jobs last year and there was panic in our financial markets, Jay's steady and decisive leadership helped to stabilize markets and put our economy on track to a robust recovery."

"Jay is a believer in the benefits of what economists call 'maximum employment.' That is an economy where companies have to compete to attract workers, instead of workers competing with each other for jobs," he added.

Biden also selected progressive favorite and a current member of the Fed's Board of Governors, Lael Brainard, as vice chairwoman of the Board.

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