I love it when John Tsitrian talks economics. The independent Rapid City blogger writes on South Dakota Standard that major economic numbers are swinging positive, leaving Republicans scrambling for distraction mud to throw.
Tsitrian discusses multiple positive economic indicators—continued gains in stock and commodity markets, household incomes, and consumer spending—but my favorite is his assessment that the inflation Republicans have tried to bogeyman is moderating:
On inflation, Pubs that were trying to bludgeon Biden with inflation hysteria just a couple of months ago are now at a loss to explain how prices – driven temporarily higher by the sharp recovery from the Covid-created recession – are now moving the other way, trending back down to numbers that are still comparatively high, but much less fear-inducing than they were last spring. Back then, people often called attention to the sharp rise in lumber prices as an indicator that inflation was getting out of control. Prices went from $349 per thousand board feet in April 2020, to $1514 last May. Then the decline started, plummeting down to $520 at last Friday’s close.
Gasoline prices, despite a run-up created by hurricane Ida’s impact on Gulf coast oil production and shipping, are still lower than they were in July. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics latest data show July’s inflation rate to be the slowest since last March. Indeed, “core” inflation, which excludes the volatile food and energy components, has slowed even more, rising at a 3.6% annual rate in July.
Republicans tried to make this an issue last spring, but the inflation card has been played out [John Tsitrian, “Inflation Has Slowed, Markets, Incomes, and Spending Are Up. No Wonder Pubs Are Focused on Mask Mandates,” South Dakota Standard, 2021.09.01].