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Are Americans’ Concerns Over Inflation Inflated?

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, consumer prices rose 5.4 percent between June 2020 and June 2021, exceeding the 2 percent target rate of inflation set by the Federal Reserve. It is the largest 12-month increase since August 2008, and according to a recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, inflation is now Americans’ leading economic concern. Many economists, including Fed chair Jerome Powell, say that the increase in prices is only temporary as the country comes out of a pandemic-induced recession. Republicans have argued that high inflation is a result of Democrats’ stimulus packages. In this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, George Washington University economics professor Tara Sinclair joins to explain what is going on with the economy and what could happen as a result of a spike in prices.

Galen Druke is FiveThirtyEight’s podcast producer and reporter.


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