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New Inflation Developments Are Rattling Markets and Economists. Here’s Why.


When inflation began to accelerate in 2021, price pressures were clearly tied to the pandemic: Companies couldn’t produce cars, couches and computer games fast enough to keep up with demand from homebound consumers amid supply chain disruptions.This year, Russia’s war in Ukraine sent fuel and food prices rocketing, exacerbating price pressures.But now, as those sources of inflation show early signs of fading, the question is how much overall price increases will abate. And the answer is likely to be driven in part by what happens in one crucial area: the labor market.Federal Reserve officials are laser-focused on job gains and wage growth as they quickly raise interest rates to constrain the economy and slow rapid price increases. Officials are convinced that they must sap the economy of some of its momentum to wrestle the worst inflation in four decades back down to their goal of 2 percent.The way they do that is by slowing …

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