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Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Consumers' year-ahead expectations for inflation hit the highest level since 2008, according to a key survey by the University of Michigan.

What they're saying: Shoppers referred to higher prices for homes, cars and other goods on average more "than any time since the last inflationary era in 1980," per the survey's chief economist Richard Curtin.

  • UMich's consumer sentiment index pulled back from its one-year high, thanks to the inflation worries.

Why it matters: Some economists say higher inflation will be a blip. Fears they're wrong sent shockwaves through the stock market this week.

  • Consumer longer-term inflation expectations also hit the highest level in over a decade.

Go deeper

Producer prices rose faster than expected in July

Data: BLS, FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

Producer prices jumped by more than expected. Some economists think it could be the peak rate of increase. But the spread of the Delta variant poses a big uncertainty.

Why it matters: Producer prices reflect what businesses pay for the materials that go into the stuff they eventually sell to their customers. Higher producer prices put more pressure on businesses to pass those costs on through consumer price hikes.

Biden White House jammed on gas prices

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Biden White House increasingly views rising gasoline prices as a source of potential political peril — and is now asking some of the world's biggest oil producers to pump more oil.

Why it matters: This trend, combined with a fragile economic recovery threatened by the Delta variant of the coronavirus, and inflation beginning to bite consumers, could threaten the administration's ambitious congressional agenda for late summer and early fall.

Right-wingers making McCarthy sweat for future Speaker post

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy stands with his Republican colleagues outside the House on Nov. 17. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Right-wing elements in the Republican Party are complicating House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's attempts to become the next speaker of the House should the GOP take back the majority in 2022.

Why it matters: While McCarthy has worked carefully to build trust among the conservatives who tanked his chances at clinching the speakership in 2015, they're still circling ahead of the next Speaker vote in January 2023.