The Economic Perspective: “Is Inflation Really Subdued?”

Mary: This is Mary Walden with economist MW welcoming you to the economic perspective. Today’s program asks if inflation is really subdued.  Mike, the prices of many consumer products and services have been affected by the economic impacts of the coronavirus.  Do we know what the net results have been?

 

Mike:  Summary Answer

  • Official numbers show net result has been to keep inflation low
  • Indeed, for most months this year, the inflation rate has dropped
  • However, due to supply problems, there have been some exceptions – many food store items have had big price increases
  • But they don’t get much weight in the overall price index calculation, at 10%
  • Yet new research shows people have changed their buying habits during the virus
  • Are spending bigger share of the income on groceries, which have had high price increases
  • Result – inflation may be higher than official data show
  • I’m MW

 

Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.