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On The Money – Inflation hits highest rate since February 1982

Happy Thursday and welcome to On The Moneyyour nightly guide to everything related to your bills, bank account, and bottom line. Subscribe here:

Today’s big deal: consumer prices continue to rise – and we have new data to show it. We’ll also look at another drop in unemployment insurance claims and the hurdles ahead for a congressional stock trading ban.

But first, Tom Brady can soon to be honored by Congress.

For The Hill, we are Sylvan Lane, Aris Folley and Karl Evers-Hillstrom. contact us at [email protected] Where @SylvanLane, [email protected] Where @ArisFolley and [email protected] Where @KarlMEvers.

Let’s go.

Annual inflation reaches 7.5%

Consumer prices rose 7.5% a year at the end of January, according to data released Thursday by the Labor Department, the fastest rate since February 1982.

The Labor Department’s consumer price index (CPI), which tracks inflation, rose on an annual basis for the sixth consecutive month and above the 7.2% increase forecast by a consensus of economists.

Consumer prices also rose 0.6% in January, the same pace as in December, after falling for three straight months.

The background:

  • The United States has faced high inflation since mid-2021 as a surprisingly strong rebound from the coronavirus recession also triggered price increases.
  • As the U.S. economy added more than 6 million jobs last year, grew 5.7% and saw consumer spending return to pre-pandemic levels, the rush in demand is on the rise. is facing severe supply and labor shortages, shipping bottlenecks and other pandemic-related constraints.

And after:

  • The Federal Reserve has all but confirmed that it will raise interest rates in March from the current benchmark, which was close to zero as the pandemic ravaged the global economy in 2020.
  • While the Fed typically raises or cuts interest rates 0.25 percentage points at a time, some economists expect the Fed to look at a steeper 0.5 percentage point hike next month.

Sylvester see you here.


Here’s where prices rose and fell the most last year

The price of gasoline, cars and food has soared over the past year, while other products and services have seen smaller increases and a handful of goods have fallen in price.

Here’s a look at where prices have risen the most over the past year, according to the latest Department of Labor report:

  • Gasoline prices rose 40% between January 2021 and January 2022, while used car and truck prices rose 40.5% and new vehicle prices rose 12.2%.
  • Food prices increased by 7%, with meat and egg prices increasing by 13.6% and 13.1% respectively.
  • The cost of furniture and bedding increased 17%, the price of window coverings increased 16.2%, and the cost of major appliances increased 9.9%.

Smartphones were one of the few products to drop in price, with a reduction of 13.3%.

The Hill’s Mychael Schnell recaps the price hikes here.


Jobless claims fall for third week in a row

New jobless claims fell by 16,000 last week, down for the third consecutive week, according to figures released Thursday by the Labor Department.

For the week ending Feb. 5, seasonally adjusted initial claims reached 223,000, the data showed. The four-week moving average was 253,250 last week, 2,000 lower than the revised average from the previous week.

  • In November, unemployment insurance claims fell to levels not seen since the start of the pandemic. However, those numbers reversed in the weeks that followed, as jobless claims rose while the omicron variant fueled a rise in coronavirus infections.
  • Last month, the nation’s unemployment rate remained around 4%, despite job gains, according to Labor Department data. Meanwhile, data released last month by the Census Bureau revealed that millions of people missed work at the start of the year because they, or someone they were caring for, fell ill. .

The Labor Department also recorded 6 million Americans in January who said they were unable to work last month due to a pandemic-related shutdown or loss of business. The figure is nearly double the level of 3.1 million recorded by the agency in December.

Aris has more here.


Stock trading ban gains momentum but divides Senate GOP

Proposals to bar members of Congress from trading individual stocks are gaining traction in the House, but some Republicans in the Senate are raising red flags early, arguing that some of the key proposals go too far or would be too difficult to implement.

Senate Republicans are also expressing concern that the stock ownership restriction will place the most burden on colleagues with less money and could deter otherwise well-qualified candidates from running for office.

These comments come after the President Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMarjorie Taylor Greene roasted for ‘gazpacho policing’ remark On The Money – Lawmakers close in on government funding deal RNC chairman: ‘Disagreements in our party are welcome’, but lawmakers in the GOP Jan. 6 “going too far” MORE (D-Calif.), who has come under scrutiny over her husband’s stock trading, and Senate Majority Leader chuck schumerChuck SchumerSanders calls on Democrats to bring drug pricing bill to Senate Unionization would make Congress even more expensive and inefficient Pelosi supports banning stock trading in Congress MORE (DN.Y.), backed a congressional stock trading ban, giving the push additional momentum.

Alexander Bolton has more on the GOP crack here.

Good to know

President BidenJoe BidenBillie Eilish meets Biden at the White House Marjorie Taylor Greene roasted for ‘gazpacho police’ remark Biden talks energy and security with Saudi King Salman MORE called on the Senate to pass its currently stalled Build Back Better legislation, touting it would lower prescription drug prices, a popular issue ahead of the midterm elections.

Biden traveled to the vulnerable Democratic Republic’s Virginia district. Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Davis SpanbergerOvernight Energy & Environment – Biden tries to overthrow Trump on power plants 23 House Democrats call on Biden to keep all climate funds in Build Back Better Pelosi says open to stock trading ban for Congress MORE, saying drug prices are “outrageously expensive” and calling for action. He also sought to address inflation concerns by arguing that his program would “reduce the cost to average families”, and also noted that it would “not increase debt”, a concern of the senator. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinSanders calls on Democrats to bring drug pricing bill to Senate Climate will define Biden’s legacy Biden meets with utility leaders to push for spending package MORE‘s (DW.Va.).

Here’s what else we’ve got our eyes on:

  • Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) sounded the alarm on Thursday after the Labor Department announced that annual inflation had risen to its fastest pace in four decades, stressing that Congress should not add “more fuel to an economy already on fire.”
  • General Motors announcement it had to cancel two shifts at its Michigan production facility due to ongoing trucking protests in Ottawa, Canada.
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously advanced a bill to hold tech platforms accountable for spreading child sexual exploitation material, despite widespread opposition from digital rights and industry groups.
  • The mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul survey their vaccine or testing requirements for restaurants and bars, citing declining COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
  • Apple announced that it go outside a series of “advances” of its AirTag product in response to complaints about devices being used to track people, as well as other criminal activity.

That’s all for today. Thanks for reading and check out The Hill’s Finance page for the latest news and coverage. Well see you tomorrow.