The economy is strong, but inflation drags on

Listen 49:00
A selection of beef cuts is displayed at a Publix Supermarket, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, in Miami. Prices paid by U.S. consumers jumped in December 2021 compared to a year earlier, the latest evidence that rising costs for food, gas, rent and other necessities are heightening the financial pressures on America's households. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

A selection of beef cuts is displayed at a Publix Supermarket, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, in Miami. Prices paid by U.S. consumers jumped in December 2021 compared to a year earlier, the latest evidence that rising costs for food, gas, rent and other necessities are heightening the financial pressures on America's households. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

Record high inflation is hard to ignore when we’re buying groceries or filling up at the gas pump, but in many other measures, the American economy is doing surprisingly well. The U.S. GDP grew by 5.7 percent last year, surging even higher in the last quarter despite Omicron. Child poverty is down 40%, wages are rising and unemployment has sharply declined. In fact, people are so confident with the job market, many are quitting to find better positions, leading to what’s been called “the great resignation.” This hour, we’ll dig below the headlines to understand what’s really going on with the economy and what it means for you and your family.  And we’ll look at the inflation puzzle and the options facing President Biden and the Federal Reserve.

Guests:

Patrick Harker, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia (@philadelphiafed)

Mark Zandi, Chief Economist at Moody’s Analytics (@economics_ma)

We Recommend:

The Washington Post: ‘Survival mode’: Inflation falls hardest on low-income Americans “Price hikes are particularly devastating to lower-income households with already tight budgets. Nearly all their expenses go to necessities — food, energy, housing — which have seen some of the largest increases at different points over the past year.”

Reuters: U.S. Senate leaders joust over controlling rising inflation “The state of the U.S. economy and an inflation rate that hit a 40-year high in January is becoming a central issue in the mid-term election campaigns for Congress that will culminate with Nov. 8 elections.”

NPR: The economy is strong but voters aren’t feeling it. That’s a problem for Biden “The president and his advisers routinely tout statistics that show how the economy is surging by most traditional economic metrics, seemingly mystified about why the American public isn’t giving Democrats more credit for this boom.”

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