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Expand chart
Data: CivicScience; Chart: Axios Visuals

A survey from data firm CivicScience provided first to Axios shows more than three-quarters of American consumers are concerned about inflation.

Between the lines: 42% of those respondents said they were "very concerned," which was more than double the share (17%) that said they were "not at all concerned."

Why it matters: As I've written before, inflation is a self-fulfilling prophecy and is driven largely by expectations.

  • When people expect costs to rise they behave accordingly — they demand higher pay, raise rents and increase the cost of goods and services. All of those things push inflation higher.

Why you'll hear about this again: Perhaps the survey's most intriguing data point is that young people who have never before experienced runaway inflation are the most worried.

  • Gen Z reports they are "very concerned" at the highest rate, although overall concern is greatest among people between 35 and 54.

One level deeper: Expectations for inflation also align closely with expectations for how much longer the coronavirus pandemic will impact the economy.

  • Of those who expect the virus to last just 1-3 more weeks, 73% report being "very concerned" and nearly 90% say they are at least somewhat concerned.
  • Conversely, among those who expect the pandemic's effects to stick around for at least six months, just 38% are very concerned.

What's happening: The public looks to be catching up to market participants in their worries about inflation and responding to rising prices, especially for rent and gasoline. Those jumped by 9% and 9.6%, respectively, in February, according to the New York Fed.

  • Investors have been selling off U.S. Treasury bonds, recently pushing yields on government debt to their highest levels since January 2020, and sending 5-year breakeven inflation rates to the highest since 2008 last week.
  • The latest survey of global asset managers commissioned by Bank of America found that inflation is the number one risk for the market, displacing COVID-19 for the first time since February 2020.
  • A net 93% of investors in the survey said they expect inflation to rise in the next 12 months, the highest reading in the history of the survey, which dates back to at least 1995.

The last word: Chair Jerome Powell and the Fed appear to be getting what they want with rising inflation that should soon push PCE, the Fed's favored inflation gauge, above the central bank's 2% target.

  • But whether inflation will remain "anchored" there and not spike to problematic levels remains to be seen.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Mar 24, 2021 - Economy & Business

Almost half of small businesses fear closing before end of Q2

Expand chart

Half of all women-owned businesses and nearly 6 in 10 small businesses owned by people of color (59%) are "highly concerned" about keeping their firms solvent through the end of the second quarter, a new survey from Alignable shows.

The big picture: Almost half of all businesses (45%) said they were "highly concerned" about their ability to keep the lights on, including close to two-thirds of all beauty salons (63%) and caterers (63%).

Updated 26 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Fauci: Unvaccinated kids must wear masks in school this fall — CDC says schools should still universally require masks and physical distancing.
  2. Politics: New York to lift mask mandate for vaccinated people — CDC director says politics didn't play a role in abrupt mask policy shift.
  3. Vaccines: Sanofi, GSK COVID vaccine shows strong immune response in phase 2 trials — Vaccine-hesitant Americans cite inaccurate side effects.
  4. Business: How retailers are responding to the latest CDC guidance — Delta to require all new employees be vaccinated — Target, CVS and other stores ease mask requirements after CDC guidance.
  5. World: Taiwan raises COVID-19 alert level amid surge in cases — Biden administration to send 20 million U.S.-authorized vaccine doses abroad.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
2 hours ago - World

Biden backs Gaza ceasefire for first time in call with Netanyahu

Biden with Netanyahu in 2010. Photo: Debbi Hill/Pool/ Getty Images

President Biden expressed support for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in a call on Thursday evening with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the White House said in a statement.

Why it matters: This is the first time since the beginning of the crisis last Monday that Biden or anyone in his administration has publicly backed a ceasefire. It will increase pressure on Israel to seek an end to the conflict, which Netanyahu has insisted will continue until Hamas' ability to attack Israel is further degraded.