According to numbers released by the US government, consumer prices have increased by 7.5 percent in the past year, the steepest increase since 1982. The actual price increases are even worse than the government numbers suggest, given that the “official” statistics are manipulated to understate the real rate of price increases. According to John Williams of ShadowStats, prices have actually increased by around 15 percent over the past year.
The fact that prices remain at historically high levels shows that inflation is far from “transitory,” as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell had described it. The continuing inflation has led the Federal Reserve Board to suggest the Fed will start increasing interest rates earlier than previously announced. The Fed may also break with its practice of only raising rates by 25 basis points at a time and increase rates by increments of up to 50 basis points. However, the increases the Fed is discussing would still leave interest rates at historic lows. Thus, such interest rate increases would do little or nothing to ease the pain rising prices cause for average consumers.