Raw Data: Inflation and Expected Inflation

How are we doing on inflation these days? Should the Fed be worried enough about it to raise interest rates even further?

It sure doesn’t seem like it. Here are two charts. The first one shows core inflation (inflation less food and energy), the preferred measure of the Fed. It’s been hovering around their target rate of 2 percent for more than six years, and both of the major measures of inflation are currently within a few tenths of a point of 2 percent.

The future looks equally placid. Expectations of future inflation have been pretty steady for the past six years, and are currently within a few tenths of a point of 2 percent.

In neither case is there any sense of acceleration, nor even of upward movement. Core inflation itself has been bobbling around 2 percent for years, while inflationary expectations have been declining steadily. If there’s any reason to be fearful of accelerating inflation in the near future, it sure isn’t visible in the numbers themselves.

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In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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