Washington Post columnist Fareed Zakaria says there is a puzzle at the heart of American political life right now: Why are people so gloomy about an economy that is so strong?
Almost no economists predicted the force of the current recovery, he says. Growth in 2021 came in at 5.7 percent, the highest in almost 40 years. The unemployment rate is 4 percent. Poverty has fallen below pre-pandemic levels. Child poverty has decreased by almost 40 percent in 2021. New businesses are forming at a record rate, bankruptcies are falling, and Americans’ savings are healthy.
But, Zakaria asks, what about inflation? Data released this week showed that the consumer price index rose by 7.5 percent year-on-year, an almost 40-year high. That sounds scary. And inflation is too high, partly caused by a too-large covid relief package.
Still, fears of ever-escalating prices are probably exaggerated, he writes.
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