Where prices are rising and how Americans can navigate inflation this holiday season

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Prices on household essentials like groceries and gas are climbing at a rapid clip, causing new financial distress for Americans right as they plan their first holiday gatherings since the rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine.

After hibernating out of sight for a generation, inflation has made an insidious and unwelcome return to the U.S. economy — fueled by supply chain snags, a shortage of workers in the service industry and pandemic-era economic policies that aimed to alleviate the financial suffering wrought by the public health crisis.

When the unemployment rate hit double-digits last March, lawmakers rallied to send stimulus money to American households and businesses shuttered for months. The Federal Reserve pulled out all the stops to keep financial markets healthy, flushing them with liquidity and easing interest rates. As the economy reopens, Americans now have a pent-up demand to consume on all the things they couldn’t for the past year — and…

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