More Americans Than Ever Say They Won’t Be Buying Christmas Gifts This Year

A record number of Americans say they won’t be purchasing gifts for the holidays this year amid ongoing inflation concerns and supply chain disruptions, a survey shows.

Roughly 11% of Americans said they expected to spend no money at all on gifts during the holiday season, according to a holiday retail survey by Deloitte. The number is the highest since Deloitte began its holiday retail survey in the 1980s and more than double the share of shoppers in 2020 who said they wouldn’t be buying presents.

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Dollar Tree Will Raise Prices for the First Time in 35 Years Amid Surging Inflation

Dollar Tree announced Tuesday it is raising its prices, bringing the cost of its products over one dollar for the first time in 35 years.

The dollar store will raise its prices by 25%, bringing the cost of its products to $1.25 as customers become accustomed to higher prices across multiple industries, the company announced in its third-quarter 2021 earnings report. Additionally, Dollar Tree said its decision to raise prices is permanent and “not a reaction to short-term or transitory market conditions.”

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U.S. Home Sales Continued to Grow in October as Housing Market Remains Hot

A beige house in a suburban community during the day

Home sales in the U.S. grew in October as buyers continue to enter a hot market, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Existing home sales increased at the fastest pace since January, growing 0.8% in October from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted rate of 6.34 million, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Monday. October home sales declined 5.8% compared to the figure in October 2020, with the inventory of unsold homes decreasing 12% to 1.25 million on a year-over-year basis.

“Home sales remain resilient, despite low inventory and increasing affordability challenges,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said in the report. “Inflationary pressures, such as fast-rising rents and increasing consumer prices, may have some prospective buyers seeking the protection of a fixed, consistent mortgage payment.”

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Over 75 Percent of Americans Say Inflation Is Affecting Them Personally, Most Blame Biden

Almost 80% of Americans say that inflation is impacting them personally, a new poll shows, with 57% blaming President Joe Biden.

The Yahoo News/YouGov poll also found that inflation was the top issue on Americans’ minds, with 17% saying so. Additionally, just a small minority of Americans, 18%, say that Biden is doing enough to address inflation, which is at its highest rate in decades.

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Poll: Biden Approval Rating Hits New Low

President Joe Biden’s approval rating has dropped to its lowest level since taking office.

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll found that Biden’s approval rating has plummeted in recent months among steadily rising inflation, a difficult withdrawal from Afghanistan, and other economic issues.

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Sen. Cruz: Skyrocketing Inflation in U.S. Comparable to 1970s under Carter

Ted Cruz

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, says that skyrocketing inflation and long lines at gas stations are a result of President Joe Biden’s policies and are returning the U.S. to the days of high inflation, high cost of living and gas lines under President Jimmy Carter.

Eleven months into Biden’s term, inflation reached a 31-year high and gas prices surpassed a seven-year high.

“I’ve got to tell you the trillions that are being spent, the trillions in debt that’s being racked up, it is historic and not in a good way,” Cruz told Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”

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Energy Secretary Granholm Says Biden Is ‘All Over’ Gas Prices, But Can’t List Any Policies to Lower Prices

Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said President Joe Biden is “all over” rising gasoline prices but failed to name a single administration policy aimed at lowering energy costs.

“The president is all over this,” Granholm said during a CNN interview Monday. “He really is very concerned about, you know, inflation, obviously, and the price of gasoline because that’s the most obvious manifestation of it. As you know, no president controls the price of gas, oil is sold on a global market.”

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Congressman Andy Biggs Challenges Lawmakers over Consequences of Infrastructure Bill

Andy Biggs at podium, speaking

U.S. Representative Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05) advised both Democratic and Republican lawmakers that they will regret the passage of a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passed earlier this month.

Pointing to the rising cost of energy consumption and many other services, Biggs described that the new legislation may impose added “inflationary pressure.”

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Trump Comes to Bannon’s Defense, Says Contempt Prosecution Proof ‘USA Is a Radicalized Mess’

Steve Bannon and Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump on Sunday came to the defense of Steve Bannon, suggesting the Biden Justice Department’s prosecution of his ex-adviser on contempt of Congress charges was evidence that America is a “radicalized mess.”

“This Country has perhaps never done to anyone what they have done to Steve Bannon and they are looking to do it to others, also,” Trump said, making a likely reference to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows who also has been threatened with contempt charges if he doesn’t cooperate with the House investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.

The 45th president suggested his former advisers were being treated more harshly than American adversaries like China and Russia.

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Increased Federal Spending Gets Fresh Scrutiny with Ongoing Spike in Inflation, Consumer Costs

Skyrocketing inflation and consumer costs are hurting President Joe Biden’s and Congressional Democrats’ hopes to pass another major spending bill through the reconciliation process.

The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics this week reported an 8.6% increase in wholesale prices over the past 12 months, the highest increase in years. The federal agency also said this week that the consumer price index, another key tracker of inflation, is rising at the fastest rate in decades.

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Inflation Surges to Highest Level in 30 Years

The Consumer Price Index increased 0.9% in October, bringing the key inflation indicator’s year-over-year increase to 6.2% as supply shortages continue and demand grows, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Wednesday.

The year-over-year inflation figure is an increase from September’s 5.3% level, marking the highest level in 30 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal projected the CPI would increase to just 5.9% in October.

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Inflation Increases at Record Rate for Second Month in a Row

Woman shopping

The Producer Price Index (PPI), which measures inflation at the wholesale level, rose 8.6% year-over-year as of October, growing at a record rate for a second straight month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced Thursday.

BLS reported Thursday that the PPI, which measures inflation before it hits consumers, grew 0.6% in October, in line with Dow Jones estimates, highlighting that inflationary pressure is still strong.

Over 60% of the month-over-month increase in producer prices resulted from a 1.2% spike in the price of goods rather than services, BLS reported. Goods prices rose 1.2% in October compared to a 0.2% increase in the cost of services.

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Fed Official Sees Inflation Slowing in 2022, Future Price Increases Wouldn’t Be ‘a Policy Success’

Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said he expects the recent spike in inflation to dissipate as supply and demand imbalances ease and that future price increases in 2022 would cause problems for the central bank.

“I do continue to judge that these imbalances are likely to dissipate over time as the labor market and global supply chains eventually adjust and, importantly, do so without putting persistent upward pressure on price inflation and wage gains adjusted for productivity,” Clarida said in remarks prepared for delivery on Monday.

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U.S. Trade Deficit Hits New Record as Inflation Grows and Supply Chain Issues Worsen

The U.S. trade deficit hit a record high of $80.9 billion in September as exports fell sharply while imports increased amid supply chain problems and growing inflation.

The trade deficit of goods and services grew 11.2%, driven by demand for items like computers, electrical equipment and industrial supplies, the Commerce Department announced Thursday.

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Federal Reserve Scales Back Bond Purchases as Inflation Rises

The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it would begin scaling back its monthly bond purchases in November, marking the first step towards ending its pandemic stimulus as inflation surges.

The scaling of bond purchases, more commonly known as tapering, will start “later this month,” the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) said in a statement. The Federal Reserve will reduce its purchases by $15 billion each month — $10 billion less in Treasury bonds and $5 billion less in mortgage-backed securities — from the current $120 billion figure.

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Commentary: Youngkin Shock Win in Virginia Vote of No Confidence in Biden, Portends Red Wave for GOP in Congress in 2022

This is one of the greatest votes of no confidence in the 21st Century.

Against the destructive policies of President Joe Biden, a torrent of spending that has brought back memories of the 1970s — surging inflation as the middle class are taxed their savings at the grocery store and then scenes of American defeat overseas in Afghanistan that stranded hundreds of Americans and thousands of American allies, who now suffer under the tyranny of the Taliban.

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Biden Approval Rating Falls to 42 Percent

President Joe Biden’s approval rating has fallen to 42%, according to a new NBC News poll; his disapproval rating hit 54%, up 6 points from August.

The majority polled, 71%, including nearly half of registered Democrats, say the country is headed in the wrong direction. Republicans and Independents say the country is headed in the wrong direction, 93% and 70%, respectively, with 48% of Democrats saying the same.

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Commentary: Taking the Infrastructure Bill Hostage Didn’t Work

Nancy Pelosi, AOC's mother and her all together

Back in August, New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait blessed the strategy of the Congressional Progressive Caucus to withhold their votes for the Senate’s bipartisan physical infrastructure plan until that bill was effectively linked to a bigger, broader, and surely partisan, measure investing in a range of items from climate protection to universal preschool. He argued that “ransoming the infrastructure bill” would turn the tables on the party’s moderates:

Historically, most partisan bills are shaped by the preferences of the members of Congress closest to the middle, and their colleagues on the political extreme simply have to go along with it. … This time, the left has real power. Progressives can credibly threaten to sink a priority that moderates care about more than they do.

Twice in the past two months, most recently last Thursday, the House progressives successfully executed this strategy, blocking attempts by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to pass the bipartisan infrastructure legislation before an agreement is reached on the larger “Build Back Better” bill.

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Propane Heating Costs Hit Highest Level Since 2011 as Winter Approaches

Propane tank

Propane heating costs in the U.S. rocketed to $2.59 per gallon this month, the highest level in a decade, as winter quickly approaches, the federal government said Friday.

The average cost of propane during the first four weeks of the current winter season, which begins in October, was 49% higher than last year, according to an Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. The agency noted that the low propane supply is a major reason for the increased prices.

“U.S. propane and propylene inventories are starting this winter season lower than in recent years; weekly U.S. inventories are averaging 28% lower than the same time last year and 21% lower than their recent five-year (2015–2020) average,” the report stated.

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Commentary: This Is Obama’s Third Term

On October 30, 2008, five days before Barack Obama won that year’s presidential election, he promised to “fundamentally transform the United States of America.” He nearly lived up to that promise.

Obama doubled the federal debt. He oversaw the worst economic growth of any president since Herbert Hoover. Under Obama, Americans experienced a stagnant median household income, a decline in homeownership, an increase in health insurance rates, and an increase in the number of Americans on food stamps, to mention just a few lowlights.

By every metric that should have mattered to Americans, Obama had failed. But from Obama’s point of view, he had succeeded. American prosperity is anathema to Obama and the modern-day Democratic Party. The Democratic Party’s power doesn’t come from happy, successful, and independent Americans; but rather from miserable, forlorn, desperate, and impoverished Americans who are dependent upon the government for their salvation.

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U.S. Consumer Spending Grew Slowly in September amid High COVID-19 Cases, Supply Chain Problems and Rising Inflation

U.S. consumer spending growth slowed in September, and income dropped due to high COVID-19 cases, supply shortages, rising inflation, and ending unemployment benefits.

Consumer spending increased 0.6% in September, down from a 1% jump in August, the Commerce Department announced Friday. Personal income fell 1% in September, driven by a 72% drop in unemployment insurance benefits that offset a 0.7% spike in wages and benefits, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Economists polled by Reuters projected a 0.5% in consumer spending. Delta variant cases peaked in the middle of September, and the continued supply chain backups have caused shortages and rising prices, making it harder for consumers to purchase their desired goods, the WSJ reported.

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Commentary: The Deliberate Attempts to Wreak Havoc on America

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, joined by White House staff, participate in a virtual bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

Since Jan. 20, 2021, many of us have wondered whether the policies of the Biden administration are driven by folly and stupidity, or whether they are deliberate attempts to wreak havoc on the United States of America. The foolish and tragic withdrawal from Afghanistan, the ongoing demolition of businesses and occupations by a prolonged pandemic and now by vaccine mandates, the shipping and trucking crisis, the skyrocketing inflation: Do these and so many other fiascoes, we ask ourselves, derive from ignorance or from calculation?

Two days ago a definitive answer to this question arrived in the mail.

It’s deliberate.     

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The U.S. Is Running Out of Warehouse Space, Intensifying Supply Chain Bottlenecks and Adding to Inflation

Man in blue polo and jeans working on a warehouse on his laptop

Available warehouse space near significant distribution hubs fell to historic lows in the third quarter of 2021, placing even more pressure on supply chain bottlenecks and increasing inflation, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Demand for industrial real estate in the third quarter outpaced supply by 41 million square feet, increasing the vacancy rate to 3.6%, down 0.7% from Q3 2020 and marking the lowest level since 2002, according to data from CBRE, the WSJ reported.

Warehouses near the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports in California, some of the most important distribution points of entry in the country, reached a vacancy rate of 1% in Q3 this year, according to the WSJ. During the same quarter in 2020, the vacancy rate was 2.3%.

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Over 60 Percent of Americans Say Biden’s Policies Are to Blame for Accelerating Inflation

Over 60% of Americans said that President Joe Biden’s policies were at least somewhat responsible for the accelerating inflation in the United States, a new poll shows.

A Politico/Morning Consult poll released Tuesday shows that around 40% of respondents said that the Biden administration’s policies were “very responsible” for higher inflation, while 22% said that they were “somewhat responsible.” The poll results come as inflation levels hit record highs and economists predict that inflation, along with supply chain shortages, could persist into 2022.

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Expect Inflation, Supply Shortages to Last Well into 2022, Economists Say

High inflation will last well into 2022, economists say, indicating that supply chain bottlenecks will keep increasing prices and curbing production.

Experts expect to see average inflation of 5.25% in December, slightly down from the current maximum predicted 5.4% figure, according to The Wall Street Journal. If inflation stays around its current level, Americans will experience the longest period during which inflation has stayed above 5% since 1991.

“It’s a perfect storm: supply-chain bottlenecks, tight labor markets, ultra-easy monetary and fiscal policies,” Michael Moran, Daiwa Capital Markets America’s chief economist, told the WSJ.

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Retail Sales Beat Expectations Amid Surging Inflation

Woman shopping in a department store

U.S. retail sales increased in September, beating expectations amid growing inflation and supply chain disruptions, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Friday.

Retail sales increased 0.7% in September, beating experts’ estimates of 0.2%, according to the Census Bureau report.  The number rose 0.8%, excluding auto sales, beating the 0.5% forecast.

Sales were up 13.9% compared to September 2020, and they increased 15.6% compared to September 2020, excluding auto sales, according to the Census Bureau.

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Federal Reserve Begins Taking Steps to Fight Growing Inflation

The Federal Reserve said in September that it would begin taking steps to combat growing inflation in the U.S. economy, according to notes from a Sept. 21 and Sept. 22 Open Market Committee meeting first obtained by The Wall Street Journal. 

The Federal Reserve will be scaling back its $120 billion monthly purchases of U.S. Treasury and mortgage securities due to the growing surge in inflation and strong consumer spending leading to heightened demand, according to minutes from a September meeting released Wednesday by the WSJ. The reduction in spending, commonly referred to as tapering, will begin in mid-November, and experts believe it could end by June, according to the meeting notes.

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Inflation Rises Again as COVID Recovery Slows and Supply Chains Remain in Chaos

The Consumer Price Index increased 0.4% in September, bringing the key inflation indicator’s year-over-year increase to 5.4%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Wednesday.

The year-over-year 5.4% inflation figure is an increase from August’s 5.3%, and September’s figure represents the highest year-over-year inflation increase since January 1991, according to CNBC. The 5.4% increase in the CPI is slightly above the 5.3% economists estimated.

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Inflation Hits Another Multi-Decade High After Fed Boosts Projection

A key economic index used by the Federal Reserve to measure inflation surged to another 30-year high in August as Americans continued to experience sticker shock.

The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index increased 4.3% over the 12-month period ending in August, according to a Department of Commerce report published Friday. The figure represented the index’s highest increase since January 1991 when it surged at an annual rate of 4.5%, government data showed.

Minus energy and food prices, which are notoriously more volatile than other sectors, the PCE index increased at an annual rate of 3.6% in August, the Commerce Department reported. That is also the highest increase in more than 30 years.

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Commentary: The Treacherous Road to Runaway Inflation

In January, 2001, America had a balanced budget, low debt, and was at peace. Here, briefly, is what lay ahead: war, financial crisis, civil unrest, massive growth of the federal government, and now severe inflation.

Never in the history of America has our government in its ineptitude created such a false economy, risking hundreds of years of hard work on unsound and unworkable economic policies. The Founders wisely relied on dispersion of power. They knew there would be dishonest and incompetent politicians but, in this case, the entire government is infected with deceptive leaders.

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Retail Sales Surprisingly Increased Last Month After Plummeting in July

Woman checking out a business

Retail sales unexpectedly increased last month despite continued challenges facing the economy as it recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

Sales ticked up 0.7% in August relative to July and totaled $618.7 billion, according to a Census Bureau report published Thursday. E-commerce, furniture, general merchandise, building materials and energy purchases drove last month’s sales increase.

Dow Jones economists had expected sales to decline 0.8%, CNBC reported. In July retail sales posted a sharp 1.8% decline as coronavirus cases surged, the Census report said Thursday.

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Report: E-Commerce Prices Have Skyrocketed Because of Inflation

Online shopping prices have rapidly increased since the start of the pandemic as consumers rely more on e-commerce, according to an industry report.

While e-commerce prices trended downward between 2015-2019 as online shopping grew in popularity, the sector has seen unprecedented increases over the last year, the report published by Adobe Digital Insights on Wednesday found. At the same time, consumers are spending more purchasing goods and food online than ever before.

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Democrats Plan to Hike Taxes to Pay for Their $3.5 Trillion Budget

House Democrats will consider nearly $3 trillion in tax hikes over the next decade in an attempt to pay for their $3.5 trillion budget that includes most of President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda and would overhaul the nation’s social safety net.

The hikes are predominantly focused on wealthy Americans and large corporations. Among the increases is a top income tax bracket of 39.6%, up from 37%, which Democrats say would raise $170 billion in revenue over the next decade.

A summary of the proposals leaked Sunday, and was first reported by The Washington Post.

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Commentary: Americans Can’t Afford Joe Biden’s America

Americans are tapped out. They are struggling to pay for higher prices at the pump, the grocery store, and just about everywhere else. Friday’s Bureau of Labor Statistics August Producer Price Indexes  report showed on an unadjusted basis, the final demand index rose 8.3 percent for the 12 months ended in August, the largest advance since 12-month data were first calculated in November 2010.

The Producer Price Index is a precursor to what retail prices will be doing in months ahead, and the August report is more bad news. The 8.3 percent annual increase in final demand signals that Americans will be paying much more for goods and services in coming months and verifies what everyone who pays their own bills already knows, Joe Biden’s America is a much more expensive place to live and it is going to get worse.

It is time for Congress to just put a stop to the madness and refuse to pass the budget reconciliation bill. Our nation cannot afford to hit the accelerator when we are already feeling the inflation pain from our prior debt excesses.

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The Global Chip Shortage Will Have a Major Impact on Consumers

Computer mother board

The global chip shortage is beginning to impact consumers, driving up prices of smartphones, vehicles and personal electronics as manufacturers struggle to keep up with rising demand.

“We’re seeing 5% to 10% price increases right now,” Glen O’Donnell, vice president and research director at Forrester, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “They will increase more as this issue drags on.”

Semiconductors, the internal components essential to the functioning of almost every electronic device, have been in short supply since early 2020 due to high consumer demand of mobile electronics cloud services, and other products that require computer chips, according to O’Donnell. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the problem by stalling semiconductor production and disrupting supply chains, with demand for consumer electronics only skyrocketing due to more people working from home.

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Federal Reserve Could Soon Lose Control of Inflation Like in 1960s, Economic Historian Says

Prominent economic historian Niall Ferguson said current inflation could be in line with where it was in the 1960s during the period that preceded a decade of high consumer prices, CNBC reported.

“What is interesting about disasters is that one can lead to another,” Ferguson said in a Friday interview with CNBC. “You can go from a public health disaster to a fiscal, monetary and potentially inflationary disaster.”

During the 1960s, inflation stayed low before shooting up in the 1970s, according to government economic data. Consumer prices ultimately peaked in 1980 before rapidly declining.

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Report: Home Prices 41 Percent Higher Than Previous Peak in 2006 Before Great Recession

A beige house in a suburban community during the day

Home prices in the U.S. are more than 41% higher than the previous peak recorded in 2006 during the housing boom that preceded the Great Recession, according to a national index.

Home prices hit a new peak in June, increasing at an annual rate of 18.6%, and 2.2% compared to May, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index published Tuesday. The index is 95% higher than it was in 2012 when the housing market bottomed out following the recession.

“June 2021 is the third consecutive month in which the growth rate of housing prices set a record,” S&P DJI Managing Director of Index Investment Strategy Craig Lazzara said in a statement. “The National Composite Index marked its thirteenth consecutive month of accelerating prices.”

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Inflation Measure Surges Again, Hits New Three-Decade High

People on an escalator in an indoor shopping mall

An index measuring inflation surged at an annual rate of 4.2% last month, reaching its highest level since 1991, according to the Department of Commerce.

The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index, which measures prices, increased 4.2% in the 12-month period between August 2020 and July 2021, according to a Department of Commerce report published Friday. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, the index spiked 3.6%, the report showed.

The last time consumer prices increased this much in one year was more than three decades ago in January 1991, CNBC reported. The figure reported Friday is in line with what economists expected.

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Retail Sales Dipped in July Amid Spiking Coronavirus Cases

Woman shopping

Retail sales in the U.S. declined in July as the number of coronavirus cases spiked, localities renewed some restrictions and businesses delayed their return to in-person work.

Sales dropped 1.1% in July compared to June and totaled $617.7 billion, according to the Census Bureau report released Tuesday. The decrease was driven mainly by declining used and new car sales, clothing purchases, building materials sales, sports goods sales and furniture purchases.

Economists expected retail sales to fall 0.3%, a relatively modest drop compared to the actual decline, CNBC reported. All major stock market indices declined between 0.5% and 0.8% on Tuesday morning following the worse-than-expected report.

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Commentary: American Armageddon

Americans are growing angrier by the day in a way different from prior sagebrush revolts such as the 1960s Silent Majority or Tea Party furor of over a decade ago.

The rage at the current status quo this time is not just fueled by conservatives. For the first time in their lives, all Americans of all classes and races are starting to fear a self-created apocalypse that threatens their families’ safety and the American way of life.

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Biden ‘Inflation Tax’ Erases Gains in Workers’ Pay, as Democrats’ Own Economists Admit Fears

Person using Apple Pay at cafe

One promise from the U.S. economy emerging from the pandemic was that American workers would benefit from a tight labor pool driving up salary and pay. And while that happened, the benefits have all been erased by the sudden surge of inflation on President Biden’s watch.

That means workers aren’t running in place, they are actually falling behind as rising prices force middle- and working-class families to make hard choices, like whether to fill the gas tank or the refrigerator.

Inflation topped out at 5.4% in July, the government reported Wednesday, the third straight month above 5%. When President Trump left office in January, inflation was in check at just 1.4%.

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Inflation Crisis: Consumer Prices Surge 5.4 Percent, Led by Food and Energy Costs

Inflation increased at a rapid 5.4% clip compared to August 2020, the Department of Labor said Wednesday.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI), a common tool used to measure inflation, increased 0.5% between June and July, according to the Labor Department report.

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Commentary: Don’t Be Fooled by the Bipartisan, ‘Paid For’ Infrastructure Bill

Capitol building looking up, blue sky in background

Over the course of the pandemic, federal overspending has exploded even by Congress’s lofty standards. While trillion-dollar deficits were a cause for concern before 2020, spending over just the last two years is set to increase the national debt by over $6 trillion. It’s bizarre, then, that the only thing that members of opposing parties in Congress can seem to work together on is fooling the budgetary scorekeepers with phantom offsets for even more spending.

In total, the bipartisan infrastructure deal includes around $550 billion in new federal spending on infrastructure to take place over five years. Advocates of the legislation claim that it is paid for, but they are relying on gimmicks and quirks of the budget scoring process to make that claim.

Take the single biggest offset claimed — repurposing unused COVID relief funds, which the bill’s authors say would “raise” $210 billion (particularly considering that at least $160 billion have already been accounted for in the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) baseline). Only in the minds of Washington legislators does this represent funds ready to be used when the national debt stands at over $28 trillion.

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Atlanta, Dallas, Tampa, and St. Louis Among the Cities Experiencing the Highest Consumer Price Spikes

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Reserve Bank and Congress have taken unprecedented steps to stabilize the economy after entire industries and sectors ground to a halt last year amidst the public health crisis. The Fed has kept interest rates near zero, created lending programs to pump trillions of dollars into the economy, and bought securities to support financial markets. Congress passed three major COVID-19 stimulus packages in response to the crisis: the $2.2 trillion CARES Act in March 2020, the $900 billion Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act in December 2020, and the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan in March 2021.

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Commentary: Democrats Brace for Inflation Attacks During August Recess

Iowa Rep. Cindy Axne, one of the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents heading toward the 2022 midterm elections, spent an early July afternoon talking to constituents’ from the cool environs of an ice cream shop in her district when the discussion suddenly heated up.

“I just wanted to ask, are you concerned about the rising gas prices and the rise in the cost of consumer goods here in Iowa and in America?” one constituent asked.

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Key Inflation Measure Spikes Again, Hits Highest Level Since 1991

Person in white shirt, walking into Gap store

A consumer price measurement used by the Federal Reserve to track inflation spiked again in June and hit its highest level since 1991, government data showed.

The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index increased 4% over the 12 months between July 2020 and June, according to a Bureau of Economic Analysis report released Friday. Excluding volatile energy and food prices, the index spiked 3.5% in that same 12-month period.

The index increased 0.5% in June, in line with economists’ forecasts, CNBC reported.

“Inflation has increased notably and will likely remain elevated in coming months before moderating,” Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell said during a press conference this week. “As the economy continues to reopen and spending rebounds, we are seeing upward pressure on prices, particularly because supply bottlenecks in some sectors have limited how quickly production can respond in the near term.”

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Treasury Secretary Warns of ‘Rapid’ Inflation This Year

Janet Yellen

As more federal data show a major spike in inflation, another top federal official said the U.S. is in for more aggressive inflation for the rest of 2021.

Federal officials have been pressed to speak on rising inflation after \data released earlier this week showed that the all items index increased 5.4% over the last 12 months, the biggest spike since the 2008 financial crisis.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen commented on the rise in inflation, saying it would grow worse this year.

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Federal Reserve Chair: Inflation to be ‘Elevated for Months’

Jerome Powell

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell tried to calm lawmakers’ fears about rising inflation but also said it would probably remain elevated for months to come.

Testifying before Congress this week, Powell said the Federal Reserve was willing to step in to address the situation, but that inflation should level out next year.

“As always, in assessing the appropriate stance of monetary policy, we will continue to monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook and would be prepared to adjust the stance of monetary policy as appropriate if we saw signs that the path of inflation or longer-term inflation expectations were moving materially and persistently beyond levels consistent with our goal,” Powell said in his prepared testimony.

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Commentary: Inflation Has Arrived

Wildly excessive federal spending is causing major inflation and shortages, which may lead to a recession and perhaps a financial crisis. Despite the evidence of inflation, Congress is proposing to spend $3.5 trillion on top of the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill passed earlier this year and the intended $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. For comparison, federal revenue is only expected to be $3.8 trillion this year.

Evidently, the Democratic Party and President Joe Biden have adopted Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) to the peril of every American citizen. MMT, which is similar to Keynesian economics, says that the U.S. should not be constrained by revenues in federal government spending since the government is the monopoly issuer of the U.S. dollar. MMT is a destructive myth that provides cover for excessive government spending. And it’s not modern, since reckless government spending has been around for thousands of years.

Embracing MMT is similar to providing whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. We know the outcomes will not be good.

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