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英語電台

There are reasons to worry about US inflation
我們有理由擔心美國的通脹

Both monetary and fiscal policy are, by historical standards, wildly expansionary
以歷史標準衡量,貨幣政策和財政政策都是極度擴張性的。

The jump in US annual consumer price inflation to 4.2 per cent reported last week was a shock. But was it a good reason to panic? Not obviously, since special factors can explain it. It was ever thus: when inflation starts to rise, special factors can always explain it. But in truth the big reasons for concern are not what is happening right now, but rather the political forces at work.

Naturally, economic forces shape those political choices. And these forces are currently rather confusing. The unexpectedly big jump in consumer prices followed on an unexpectedly weak employment report: last month, the US added just 266,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate edged up to 6.1 per cent. The obvious explanation is that this is a recovery from an unprecedented recession, driven not by tightening demand but by shutdown of supply.

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