OC Register: Fed gets antsy as Southern California inflation nears 6-year high

OC Register: Fed gets antsy as Southern California inflation nears 6-year high
March 19, 2017 Joanna Rivas

If you’re anywhere near my age, you can recall days of double-digit inflation. So, what’s with all the anxiousness in today’s era of historically modest increases in the cost of living? The nation’s central bank claims its actions – two recent hikes in three months in interest rates the Fed controls after one hike in the previous eight years – are designed to keep inflation at bay. This raises a tricky question: What’s the cost of moderating increases in the cost of living? Just look at Southern California’s Consumer Price Index as an example. This household-expense yardstick was rising at a 2.7 percent annual pace in February. That’s essentially the average inflation rate of the past 30 years. But it’s the upward trend that seems to matters most to the Fed.

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