The Worst-Kept Secret in America: High Inflation Is Back, by Mark Hendrickson

Inflation is obvious to anybody who buys things. From Mark Hendrickson at mises.org:

To most people, “inflation” signifies widespread rising prices. Economists have long argued, as a matter of technical accuracy, that “inflation” denotes an increasing money supply. Frankly, though, most people don’t care what happens to the supply of money, but they care a lot about the prices they pay, so I’ll focus primarily on the numerous rapidly rising prices Americans are paying today.

Following are several examples of the current inflation:

Corn, soybeans, and wheat have been trading at multi-year highs, with corn having risen from around $3.80 per bushel in January 2020 to approximately $6.75 now. Chicken wings are at all-time record highs. It is getting more expensive to eat.

Copper prices have risen to an all-time highSteel, too, recently traded at prices 35% above the previous all-time set in 2008. Perhaps most famously, the price of lumber has nearly quadrupled since the beginning of 2020 and has nearly doubled just since January.

Naturally, with raw materials prices soaring, prices of manufactured goods are jumping, too. That is especially noticeable in the housing market, where the median price of existing homes rose to $329,100 in March—a whopping 17.2% increase from a year earlier.

The cost of driving is soaring, too. According to J.D. Power, cited in The Wall Street Journal, the average used car price has risen 16.7% and new car prices have risen 9.6% since January.

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