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Virus Shock Might Not Be as Disinflationary as It Appears

With lockdowns and social distancing changing consumption patterns, official U.S. inflation data may be overstating the drop in price pressures, especially for low-income households, according to Bloomberg Economics. Using data from Opportunity Insight and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, BE recalculated inflation based on the shift in the consumer basket, and the results show the average U.S. household is experiencing inflation of 1.1%, compared with 0.1% shown by the official data in May. Yet depending on your income bracket, there are vast differences: For low-income households, higher prices for groceries and housing are a particular burden, with the bottom 10% experiencing a rate of 1.5%, compared with 1.0% for the highest earners.