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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Inflation here. Inflation there. Inflation everywhere.

Driving the news: Consumer prices rose 5% year-over-year, including a 0.06% bump between April and May, according to Consumer Price Index data released this morning. It's the biggest year-over-year gain since August 2008, and came in well above economist estimates.

  • The White House is outwardly sanguine, suggesting this is a short-term phenomenon drive, in part, by artificially low prices during the pandemic. And the stock markets don't seem fazed, because they'd only be bothered if Reddit went offline.
  • My inbox is already peppered with mixed emotions from dealmakers. There are concerns that this data could cause the Fed to raise rates sooner rather than later, and also that certain sectors will become less likely to benefit from the largesse of President Biden's big spending plans. On the other hand, if those big spending plans die, so might the associated capital gains tax increases.

Inside the numbers: Energy was the top driver, up 28.5% year-over-year while gasoline jumped a whopping 56.2%. Other big "gainers" were used cars and trucks (+29.7%) and transportation services (+11.2%).

Outside the numbers: This is the consumer price index, so it doesn't include another type of inflation that's omnipresent in these morning missives: Deal size inflation, from the earliest-to-latest stages of private financings.

  • But there is a relationship.
  • Deal sizes keep surging, in large part, because investors are drowning in cash. If the Fed tightens and/or consumer spending power wanes, then the spigot will begin to slow.
  • And if there's a pullback, a lot of companies (and their option-holding employees) are going to find their valuations naked as the tide goes out.

The bottom line: "Up and to the right" isn't always what investors should want.

Go deeper: White House confident on economy ahead of CPI report

Go deeper

Jun 10, 2021 - Economy & Business

White House confident on economy ahead of CPI report

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) highlights price hikes last month. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Ahead of Thursday's inflation data, the White House is confident the economic recovery will continue, with sources highlighting recent analysis — including from Goldman Sachs — that inflation will remain transitory.

Why it matters: The monthly release of the Consumer Price Index will add fresh fodder to the debate about whether inflation will be short-term or part of a long-term, and dangerous, cycle. Republican critics are already seizing on the topic.

Small businesses adjust to the reopening normal

Data: NFIB; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Small business owners' optimism pulled back slightly during May.

Why it matters: Small businesses were hit hard during the pandemic, but optimism had grown in each of the prior three months. The slight pullback last month appears to stem largely from hiring challenges — offering yet another data point on how labor issues are playing out across the country.

Exclusive: EV charging providers to allow roaming across their networks

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Greenlots, Chargepoint and several other electric vehicle charging companies will allow roaming access across their networks, a move that could help speed EV adoption.

Why it matters: Your phone works on any mobile network, no matter which provider you use. And you can use any bank's ATM machine, regardless of where you keep your money. Now the same will be true of EV charging.