Why US inflation is so high, and when it may ease

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Inflation is starting to look like that unexpected — and unwanted — houseguest who just won’t leave.

For months, many economists had sounded a reassuring message that a spike in consumer prices, something that had been missing in action in the U.S. for a generation, wouldn’t stay long. It would prove “transitory,” in the soothing words of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and White House officials, as the economy shifted from virus-related chaos to something closer to normalcy.

Yet as any American who has bought a carton of milk, a gallon of gas or a used car could tell you, inflation has settled in. And economists are now voicing a more discouraging message: Higher prices will likely last well into next year, if not beyond.

On Wednesday, the government said its consumer price index soared 6.2% from a year ago — the biggest 12-month jump since 1990.

“It’s a large blow against the transitory narrative,” said Jason…

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