Inflation Numbers Are Only Going to Get Worse

Published on December 10, 2021

The Washington Post

Friday’s inflation numbers — a 6.8 percent increase compared with just a year ago, the highest level in 39 years — are scary enough. Scratch just a bit below the surface, and you’ll see the worst has yet to come.

The full report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics provides the details. Inflation is only 6.8 percent because the data includes months before the coronavirus vaccines became widely available. The consumer price index rose by an average 0.3 percent between last December and February. Those months will soon be dropped from the annual headline rate and replaced by data from the next three months. Monthly inflation has averaged 0.64 percent in the nine months since then. Simply replacing the old data with this average should push annual inflation above 7.5 percent by March.

The most recent monthly increases are even more troubling. Inflation for the past two months has averaged 0.85 percent. If these hikes continue over the next three months, the headline inflation rate would approach 9 percent by spring. If they persist for a year, it would surpass 10 percent — the first time the United States would have double-digit inflation since the early 1980s.

Click here to read the rest of this piece at the Washington Post‘s website.

Henry Olsen is a Washington Post columnist and a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

Most Read

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Sign up to receive EPPC's biweekly e-newsletter of selected publications, news, and events.


Your support impacts the debate on critical issues of public policy.

Donate today

Related Publications

There’s Only One Way to Defuse Supreme Court Battles: Scale Back the Court’s Role in…

Henry Olsen

News that Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer will retire has predictably sparked discussion of a bitter — if likely futile — battle over the Senate confirmation of his successor. The dreary inevitability of such fights should cause everyone to reconsider their proximate cause: the dramatically expanded role the court plays in our democracy today.


The Washington Post / January 27, 2022

The Midterms Could Be a Bloodbath for Democrats. And There May Be Little That Candidates…

Henry Olsen

Democrats are right to be concerned that the upcoming midterm elections could be a disaster. A close look at the data from 2021 elections in Virginia and New Jersey suggest it could become a bloodbath — and there’s likely little individual candidates can do to avoid it.


The Washington Post / January 26, 2022

How Biden-Harris Ignored Science, Politicized COVID-19 Boosters, and Misinformed the World

David Gortler

COVID case numbers from December suggest vaccines and boosters did little if anything to slow the spread of Omicron. Despite these findings, the president has continued to scold and belittle Americans who have chosen not to take a vaccine or booster in recent weeks.


Newsweek / January 26, 2022

Reforming the Electoral Count Act Is Crucial to Our Democracy. And It Must Be Done…

Henry Olsen

There has been a lot of depressing rhetoric lately about purportedly partisan assaults on our democracy. That’s why recent bipartisan talks to rewrite the Electoral Count Act of 1887 are a refreshing and much-needed antidote.


The Washington Post / January 25, 2022