Real inflation in Biden's America

 Ed Morrissey:

“These are staggering numbers,” CNBC’s Rick Santelli, and while the direction was expected, the amplitude was very much a surprise. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an 0.8% jump in the Consumer Price Index for April, an annualized increase of 4.2%, far above expectations.

As Santelli explains, we’re comparing year-on-year from the first full month of COVID-19 shutdowns, so some upward pressure is normal under the circumstances. However, this looks more like actual inflation:

U.S. consumer prices surged in April as the economic recovery picked up, reflecting surging demand as the pandemic eased and higher prices due to supply bottlenecks.

The Labor Department reported its consumer-price index jumped 4.2% in April from a year earlier, up from 2.6% for the year ended in March. That is the highest 12-month level since the summer of 2008. Consumer prices increased a seasonally adjusted 0.8% in April from March. The index measures what consumers pay for goods and services, including clothes, groceries, restaurant meals, recreational activities and vehicles.

Higher prices for used autos surged 10% in April compared with the prior month—the largest monthly increase on record. That accounted for more than a third of the increase, the Labor Department said.

The so-called core price index, which excludes the often-volatile categories of food and energy, climbed 3% in April from a year before.

NBC also cited supply issues while noting an even more stark record broken:

Consumer prices for the month of April rose the most since September 1981, an indication of soaring demand dovetailing with continued supply chain interruptions, according to the latest monthly data released Wednesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Surging demand? Definitely true, especially as compared to April 2020 for obvious reasons. Supply bottlenecks? Also true, as anyone who has done any grocery shopping knows. But that’s hardly the whole story, and the Wall Street Journal of all institution knows it. None of that explains why auto sales went up 10% over March.

However, all of the helicopter cash being dumped into the economy explains that, and more. The federal government and its continued stimulus spending and bailout programs have induced a “sugar high” of consumption. Even under normal circumstances, that would put upward pressure on prices as demand rises. Doing so while experiencing supply bottlenecks amplifies that effect. And the mass printing of money — as Congress essentially has asked the Federal Reserve to do with these unfunded multi-trillion-dollar packages — has its own inflationary impacts.

...

Because of a shortage of inventory of new cars and trucks, dealers have been trying to stock late-model used cars and that has been driving up the price of the used market to unheard of prices.  Because many of the lumber mills shut down for the pandemic the shortage of sheet goods and 2 x 4's has gone up in price about 260 to 300 percent.  Some grocery items also up in price along with paper goods.  The price of gas is also up since Biden's elections and Facebook "fact-checkers" have been trying to say Biden had nothing to do with it.  That has hurt their credibility as much as Bidens on the issue.

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