ABSTRACT

Inflation in the Wake of COVID-19 [September 1, 2021]   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the Introduction: "The COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] pandemic has led to many unexpected and unprecedented economic developments. One of those developments is higher price inflation than the United States has experienced in recent decades. According to several measures, including the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Index, prices have risen more rapidly than usual on both a monthly and an annual basis for several months, most notably since March 2021. [...] Inflation is a policy concern for Congress in multiple ways. First, higher prices affect spending on government programs and the capacity of government programs at a given spending level. Second, high inflation is unpopular with the general public because it erodes purchasing power. Third, rising inflation might be a leading signal of an overheating economy. [...] This report begins by explaining what inflation is and how it is measured. It then discusses the costs of inflation, as well as the costs of inflation being too low. Next, it discusses the potential causes of inflation. Then it discusses the history of inflation in the United States since World War II. Finally, it analyzes the causes and implications of the current situation and prospects for future inflation."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R46890
Author:
Publisher:
Date:
2021-09-01
Series:
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
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