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EXPLAINER: Why US Inflation Is So High, And When It May Ease

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FILE - People look at televisions during a Black Friday sale at a Best Buy store on Friday, Nov. 26, 2021, in Overland Park, Kan. Prices for U.S. consumers jumped 6.8% in November compared with a year earlier as surging costs for food, energy, housing and other items left Americans enduring their highest annual inflation rate since 1982. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

(AP) — Inflation is starting to look like that unexpected — and unwanted — houseguest who just won’t leave.

For months, many economists had sounded a reassuring message that a spike in consumer prices, something that had been missing in action in the U.S. for a generation, wouldn’t stay long. It would prove “transitory,” in the soothing words of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and White House officials, as the economy shifted from virus-related chaos to something closer to normalcy.

Yet as any American who has bought a carton of milk, a gallon of gas or a used car could tell you, inflation has settled in.

 

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