US inflation surge linked to supply chain problems

Inflation has surged in recent months due to pandemic-related pressures, including such supply chain issues as shipping trouble and a strong demand for goods from Asia, The New York Times reported Oct. 1. 

The Federal Reserve's preferred inflation gauge accelerated in August, and supply chain issues and commodity costs threaten to keep price gains elevated for longer than economic policymakers expected, according to the Times

Supply shortages have raised the prices of items from washing machines to cars, and factory shutdowns in Asia are still disrupting the global supply chain, the Times reported. 

It's "frustrating to see the bottlenecks and supply chain problems not getting better — in fact, at the margin, apparently getting a little bit worse," Fed Chair Jerome Powell said Sept. 29, according to the Times. "We see that continuing into next year, probably, and holding inflation up longer than we had thought."

Companies are planning for price pressures and supply chain disruptions to persist, the Times reported. 

"We're not expecting supply chain pressures to ease," Mark Tritton, CEO of Bed Bath & Beyond, said Oct. 1, according to the Times. He said the company is trying to adjust to deal with supply issues, including by carefully managing its inventory.

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