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Your Weekend Reading: Inflation May Be Sticking Around Awhile

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Manhattan's Most Beautiful Supermarket Reopens as a Trader Joe's
Photographer: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg

Wallets are hurting and the American consumer is worried. Prices are rising at the fastest clip since 1982 and there’s no immediate respite, though some economists see inflation falling to 3% as 2022 progresses. For now though, it’s getting sticky by almost any measure, John Authers writes in Bloomberg Opinion. Grocery shelves are empty of seemingly random products and the global supply chain is reeling again from the effects of Covid-19’s omicron wave. Take the humble head of lettuce for example: farmers are struggling to work out when demand will spike, and prices are surging as a result. Another sign that today’s normal is divorced from the old reality? U.S. adults say they need to earn on average $128,000 to feel they’re in good financial shape.

Covid-19 in 2022 will be more manageable than last year, according to some political leaders in Europe. But in the U.S., the burden on the health-care system is spreading. In China, an absolutist approach has wrought further damage to that nation’s economy. And everywhere, people underestimate the fallout of Long Covid at their peril.