Oct. 25, 2023 12:53 pm ET
The Federal Reserve is relieved inflation is receding and hopes it will fall to 2%. Meantime, households and businesses are stuck with high prices and costs and braced for further increases. The consumer-price index, which measures out-of-pocket household expenses, is 18.9% higher than its pre-pandemic level, and prices of some essentials have risen higher. Businesses face steep operating and borrowing costs to boot.
Despite some policy makers’ rosy outlook, the public isn’t pleased. The unemployment rate is near record lows, but consumer confidence and President Biden’s approval ratings are depressed. The bill for the Fed’s lower-for-longer interest-rate strategy and excessive deficit spending is coming due.
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