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Inflation at 40-year high pressures consumers, Fed and Biden

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Most economists say inflation won’t fall back to pre-pandemic levels anytime soon.

Inflation jumped at its fastest pace in nearly 40 years last month, a 7% spike from a year earlier that is increasing household expenses, eating into wage gains and heaping pressure on President Joe Biden and the Federal Reserve to address what has become the biggest threat to the U.S. economy.

Prices rose sharply in 2021 for cars, gas, food and furniture as part of a rapid recovery from the pandemic recession. Vast infusions of government aid and ultra-low interest rates helped spur demand for goods, while vaccinations gave people confidence to dine out and travel.

As Americans ramped up spending, supply chains remained squeezed by shortages of workers and raw materials and this magnified price pressures.

The Labor Department reported Wednesday that a measure of inflation that excludes volatile food and gas prices jumped 5.5% in December, also the highest in decades. Overall inflation rose 0.5% from November, down from 0.8% the previous month.

Price gains could slow further as snags in supply chains ease, but most economists say inflation won’t fall back to pre-pandemic levels anytime soon.

“U.S. inflation pressures show no sign of easing,” said James Knightley, chief international economist at the financial services company ING. “It hasn’t been this high since the days of Thatcher and Reagan. We could be close to the peak, but the risk is that inflation stays higher for longer.’’

High inflation isn’t only a problem for the U.S. In the 19 European countries that use the euro currency, inflation rose 5% in December compared with a year earlier, the biggest increase on record.

Companies large and small are adapting as best they can.

Nicole Pomije, a bakery owner in the Minneapolis area, said she plans to raise prices for cookies because of surging ingredient costs.

Her basic cookies were priced at 99 cents each, while premium versions were selling for $1.50 each. But Pomije said she will have to jack up the prices of her basic cookies to the premium price.

“We have to make money,” she said. “We don’t want to lose our customers. But I think we might.”

Businesses struggling to hire have hiked pay, but rising prices for goods and services have eroded those income gains for many Americans. Lower-income families have felt it the most, and polls show that inflation has started displacing even the coronavirus as a public concern.

High inflation has put President Biden on the defensive. His administration, echoing officials at the Fed, initially suggested that price increases would be temporary. Now that inflation has persisted, Biden and some congressional Democrats have begun to blame large corporations. They say meat producers and other industries are taking advantage of pandemic-induced shortages to drive up prices and profits. But even some left-of-center economists disagree with that diagnosis.

On Wednesday, the president issued a statement arguing that the drop in gas prices in December and a smaller increase in food costs showed progress.

One trend experts fear is a wage-price spiral. That happens when workers seek more pay to offset higher costs, and then companies raise costs further to cover that higher pay. On Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told a Senate panel that he has yet to see evidence that wages are broadly driving up prices across the economy.

The biggest driver of inflation, according to economists, are mismatches between supply and demand. Used car prices have soared more than 37% over the past year because a shortage of semiconductors has prevented auto companies from making enough new cars. Supply-chain constraints have driven furniture prices nearly 14% higher over the past year.

Shoppers are feeling the pinch all around them, from the gas station to the grocery store.

Vicki Bernardo Hill, 65, an occupational therapist in Gaithersburg, Maryland, says she no longer throws extra canned food, boxes of cereal or bakery items into her shopping cart at the Giant Food store.

“I am trying to stick to my list and buying things that are on sale, ” said Hill.

Because she couldn’t find a good deal on a used car, Hill recently bought a new Mazda, spending $5,000 more than she had planned.

Inflation could ease as the omicron wave fades and as Americans shift more of their spending to services such as travel, eating out and movie-going. That would reduce the demand for goods and help clear supply chains.

But some higher prices, such as rents, could prove to be stickier. Rental costs, which have accelerated since summer, rose 0.4% in December, the third consecutive monthly increase. That’s significant because housing costs make up one-third of the government’s consumer price index.

Powell told Congress that if it becomes necessary to fight high inflation more aggressively, the Federal Reserve is prepared to accelerate the interest rate hikes it plans to begin this year. The Fed’s benchmark short-term rate, now pegged near zero, is expected to be bumped up at least three times this year.

Rate increases would make borrowing for a home or car more expensive, and therefore help to cool off the economy.

Some economists and members of Congress fear the Fed has acted too slowly to head off inflation and that this could eventually force even sharper rate increases that could damage the economy.

Republicans in Congress and even some liberal economists say Biden deserves at least some of the blame for high inflation, arguing that the financial rescue package he pushed through Congress last March added significant stimulus to an already strengthening economy.

___

Republished with permission from The Associated Press.


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300,000 Brits Have ‘Stealth’ Heart Condition That Could Kill Them ‘In 5 Years,’ Researchers Say

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 By Andrew White


 January 27, 2022 at 11:02am


Doctors are urgently warning people in the United Kingdom that 300,000 Brits are living with a “stealth” heart condition that could kill them within five years.

A report by The Sun warned that some 300,000 Brits in the United Kingdom are living with a “stealth” heart disease that could kill them in five years, according to researchers in the UK and Australia.

A third of the people with the mysterious heart disease are “likely to have no idea they are infected because they do not show clear symptoms.”

The disease, aortic valve stenosis (AS) is a heart condition that “often shows no symptoms until it’s already too late.”

From the report:

The condition is when the heart’s aortic valve narrows, reducing or blocking blood flow from the heart into the main artery to the body (aorta).

This can cause chest pain, dizziness, fatigue, or a rapid, fluttering heartbeat in the more severe and life-threatening cases.

Some people are more prone to getting it, including those of older age, with diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart conditions from birth.

Given the ageing of the UK population, it is thought that there may be a large pool of as yet undiagnosed people.

Does the COVID-19 vaccine adversely impact the heart?

Researchers in the UK and Australia set out to estimate how many people could be living with the condition now, and of those, how many are at risk of death.

According to the researchers, 1.5% of people over the age of 55 in the UK at any one time could have severe AS, equal to around 300,000 people.

Just under 200,000 of them were symptomatic, indicating that they had a severe case of the disease and were eligible for surgery.

The remaining 90,000 had a “silent” case and will “probably not be diagnosed” unless they are screened for other issues.

Without timely treatment, researchers say, an estimated 172,859 people will die over the next five years heading into 2024, meaning 35,000 people every year, with 10,000 of those deaths being among 55-64 year olds.

Studies have shown that people with a severe case of AS who do not get treated with surgery have a 25% chance of dying within the first year after symptoms begin, with the risk increasing to 50% in the second year.

The researchers, led by Geoffrey Strange, a cardiologist at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, said: “In conclusion, this study suggests that severe [aortic stenosis] is a common condition affecting many individuals within the UK population aged 55 [and older].

“Without appropriate detection and intervention, their survival prospects are likely to be poor.”

The researchers are concerned the NHS will not be able to cope with the wave of older people with aortic disease over the next few years.

The research comes as some remain concerned that myocarditis and other heart conditions known to be side effects of the controversial COVID-19 vaccines are not being taken seriously.

Some suggested the new warning regarding AS and the COVID-19 vaccines could be linked, though National File was not able to find evidence confirming this.

It’s the jabs!! Don’t flannel the truth! This stealth heart disease bollocks is just the cover up to justify the coming deaths!!!https://t.co/EPtx83GdMV

— Truthseeker1984 (@Truthseeker1985) January 27, 2022

hey vaxxers.

they’re already setting up the excuse when you mindless sheep start dying.

300,000 Brits living with stealth disease that could kill within 5 years pic.twitter.com/K0RsnoXfjL

— Talking Surface Monkey (@blackbarthnews) January 27, 2022

Cover stories already circulating to cover long term vax injuries in the next 5 years???? https://t.co/9Q2zSJS2A0

— Marmite 🌸🌸🌸 (@marmite2021) January 27, 2022

About the Author:


Andrew White is a Northern Virginia native. His work here at National File has been previously featured on Alex Jones’ Infowars and Revolver News. White is a constitutionalist Patriot, who focuses on social issues, election integrity, globalism, US politics, as well as general corporate and government corruption.

National File is committed to ensuring your voice can and will be heard. To keep your speech free, we are switching our commenting platform to Insticator. Don’t worry! All you have to do is create a commenting account with Insticator. We will be transferring previous comments to our new site, and then you will be able to link your past comments to your new Insticator account. If you have any feedback or questions about your Insticator commenting account, please email them at: [email protected]

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HERE IT IS: Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer Publishes Letter Announcing His Retirement

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Justice Breyer on Thursday officially announced his retirement from the Supreme Court after 27 years on the bench.

Joe Biden and Stephen Breyer will be speaking at 12:30 on Thursday where the president will announce his new SCOTUS nominee to replace Breyer.

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Stephen Breyer, a Bill Clinton appointee, released a letter about his retirement.

Justice Breyer said he plans to retire at the end of the current SCOTUS term (June/July).

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Judge Forces Trump Attorney to Turn Over 1,500 Pages a Day for Liz Cheney’s Amusement

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A California judge is forcing Trump Attorney John Eastman to review and turn over at least 1,500 documents a day in the Democrat Party’s continued harassment and abuse of the opposition party.

Eastman, a staunch Trump supporter, is a major target of the communist left in their ongoing attempt to crush their opponents and send a message to the people of America. NO dissent will be allowed.

Liz Cheney and her committee members must be very pleased.

Eastman was outspoken in his belief that the 2020 election was stolen from the most popular president in American history. Trump recorded more votes by a sitting President in a national election. A majority of Americans to this day believe the election was decided by fraudulent means.

TRENDING: Fauci Proposes Three Shot Series for Babies 6-Months-Old Up to Children 4-Years-Old (Video)

Via Newsmax:

A federal judge Wednesday night ruled that former President Donald Trump’s lawyer must review at least 1,500 pages of records per business day and immediately transfer any unprivileged documents to the House Jan. 6 committee.

Judge David Carter, of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, ordered attorney John Eastman to begin producing pages to congressional investigators beginning Friday, Politico reported.

Any documents Eastman deems privileged must be given to Carter. If the committee challenges the lawyer’s claim, the judge will review the records to determine whether the assertion was valid before holding a hearing to adjudicate the privilege disputes.

Carter earlier rejected Eastman’s attempt to block the committee’s subpoena for 19,000 pages of emails held by his former employer, Chapman University. Eastman has claimed that many of the emails relate to his legal clients and therefore be subject to potential attorney-client privilege.

The Wednesday night ruling showed that Carter is taking a more hands-on approach than any federal judge so far to assist the Jan. 6 select committee’s effort to access specific documents from a reluctant witness.

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