Here’s what a block of a cream cheese says about the state of inflation

Maybe it all comes down to cream cheese. Specifically, a 50-pound bulk carton that accompanies the fantastic everything bagels at Goldberg’s in Westhampton Beach, NY. Last year, that delicious supply had jumped to around $180 a carton, from $100. Now it’s ‘only’ $150 – going in the right direction, but nowhere near where it used to be. On Wednesday, the U.S. Labor Department will release its monthly consumer price index (CPI). Economists are predicting a 3.1% annual increase in prices for June – a figure that could be closer to 5% when taking out food and energy costs. That’s good news because it would be the slowest increase since late 2021. But it’s bad news because, like the delicious schmear applied abundantly at Goldberg’s, that’s still way too high. When a bagel with cream cheese doubles in cost the taste is tainted. So, ‘getting there, going in the right direction’ is the language we will hear abo …

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