The Fed Is Curbing Inflation, But Consumers Say They’re Still Paying Too Much

Comment on this storyCommentInflation has cooled down from a year ago, but that’s failing to allay the pain of Americans who are still paying up at gas pumps and grocery aisles.As a result, there’s a growing disconnect between policymakers, who point to cooling inflation indicators as a sign of progress, and people who are struggling to make ends meet. Even as the Federal Reserve’s favored measure of price gains eases, the cost of food, gasoline, car insurance and other essentials is still elevated after two years of persistent increases. The rate of core inflation stands at 4.3%.It all points to a pressing issue for President Joe Biden as he tries to convince voters of his economic record for his 2024 reelection bid: How the economy looks on paper isn’t matching up with what consumers are experiencing in their everyday lives.Advertisement“What they see is the milk still costs as much as it did, the gas is still too expensive, and maybe it’s from the gut that they’re making this call that they’re not happy,” said Quinnipiac University pollster Tim Malloy. It costs $734 more each month to buy the same goods and services as two years ago for households who earn the median income, according to Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics.Fed Chair Jerome Powell said at a press conference after last week’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting that even though households are overall in good shape thanks to a hot labor market and rising wages, surveys show consumers are dissatisfied with the economy and high prices.“A lot of that is just people hate inflation. Hate it,” Powell said. “That causes people to say the economy is terrible, but at the same time, they’re spen …

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