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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Inflation is bursting almost everywhere — a warning that rapid price spikes may stick around.

Why it matters: Until recently, high prices have been shrugged off as temporary, thanks to pandemic-era quirks (read: messed-up supply chains) that are expected to ease.

  • Data from Friday is the latest signal that price pressure has spread to parts of the economy not slammed by those quirks.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

What's new: Consumer costs rose at the fastest pace since 1982. Strip out volatile energy and food components, and it's the quickest pace since 1991.

  • "The narrative that inflation is mostly energy and goods rings hollow," says Conrad DeQuadros, an economist at Brean Capital.

Where it stands: Prices jumped across almost all categories for the second straight month, the government said.

  • The only categories where costs dropped from October: car insurance, recreation and communication.

What to watch: About half of the overall monthly jump in prices stemmed from pricier cars and energy (including gasoline) alone. But shelter costs — up 0.5%, matching the quick pace set the prior month — were the giant red flag.

  • "Once you start to see prices accelerating here, it doesn't tend to reverse quickly," says Aneta Markowska, an economist at Jefferies.

The bottom line: Mega-demand for goods from flush consumers, supply chain snafus and jumping housing costs have collided to create the most expensive economy in almost four decades.

Go deeper

Rising mortgage rates could slow house price surge

Chart: Axios Visuals

Mortgage rates have jumped to their highest level since early 2020.

Why it matters: The rising cost of home loans could slow the booming American market for residential real estate.

Hope King, author of Closer
Jan 14, 2022 - Economy & Business

Record level consumer demand drops as high prices surge

Data: FRED; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

Record levels of consumer demand are petering out as high prices cut into wages and add to household worries.

Why it matters: Shoppers will hold off on buying if goods get too expensive — a trend that if big enough could slow down economic growth.

Updated 5 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

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