Speed Reads

inflation nation

Inflation was up in October. Economists warn 'things are going to get worse before they get better.'

Inflation in October reached a "three-decade high," The Wall Street Journal writes Wednesday per a Labor Department report, as "pandemic-related supply shortages and continued strength in consumer demand continued to push up prices."

Consumer prices last month jumped 6.2 percent from a year ago, their fastest annual increase since 1990, reports CNBC. Leading the gains were energy, shelter, and vehicle costs, "which more than wiped out the wage increases that workers received for the month." Prices fell for airline fares and alcohol, per the Journal.

Among the factors that pushed inflation higher were continued supply chain issues, labor shortages, and unusually-high consumer demand, reports the Journal and The New York Times. And though White House and Federal Reserve officials have long maintained that all this inflation will fade, they have begun having "to revise how quickly that might happen," per the Times.

"The bigger picture is we're likely to see inflation climb higher," Kathy Bostjancic, chief U.S. financial economist at Oxford Economics, told the Journal. "Things are going to get worse before they get better."

Said Seemah Shah, chief strategist at Principal Global Investors, to CNBC: "Inflation is clearly getting worse before it gets better, while the significant rise in shelter prices is adding to concerning evidence of a broadening in inflation pressures."

The Fed had recently said it's not yet time to raise interest rates, but "the hotter-than-expected October report raises the question whether the Fed is acting fast enough, or whether it has to roll back stimulus even faster," writes CNN

"Part of [this] still seems likely to be transitory," said economist Laura Rosner-Warburton to the Journal, "but maybe not all of it."