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Inflation Slows in General, Yet Hotspots Remain

Inflation in 2023 continues to sting but in some cases has showed signs of slowing in recent numbers likely due to factors mitigated by the Federal Reserve rate hikes. 

As reported by WalletHub, inflation was still a “whopping” 6.5% in December 2022, to close out the year. 

In addition, they said high inflation is driven by a variety of factors, including the ever-present COVID-19, the war in Ukraine, and ongoing labor shortages. 

“The government is hoping to continue to rein in inflation with additional aggressive interest rate hikes this year,” said Adam McCann, a WalletHub Financial Writer. “But exactly how much of an effect that will have remains to be seen.” 

The top-5 cities where inflation was rising the most were Miami, 9.9%; Tampa, Florida, 9.6%; Dallas/Fort Worth, 8.4%; Riverside, California, 7.5%; and Seattle, 8.4%. 

When asked specifically about inflation, Robert Wyllie, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Ashland University said, “What now looks like peak inflation, the 9.1% CPI we saw in June, was initially driven by higher prices in the goods sector, for example, the jump in prices of new and used cars. Demand rotated away from services and into commodities during the pandemic lockdowns, which is why so many economists one year ago thought higher goods prices represented transitory inflation, which would disappear once services reopened and supply-chain bottlenecks cleared.” 

Wyllie continued, ”Now, however, the service sector is also contributing to still-high and clearly persistent inflation. Excess savings, probably exacerbated by the third-round stimulus checks from the end of 2021, contributes to this, as well as other factors like higher energy costs.” 

When asked about what can be done to slow the rapidly increasing price gains, he said, “There is no single cause of inflation and no single solution. In October, the Fed estimated that American households still had $1.7 trillion in excess savings. Consumer demand ought to fall as this excess savings is spent, and with it, the inflation rate should fall as well. The Fed has signaled another round or two of interest rate hikes, after mid-December's 0.50% increase, which is probably around the corner in the new year.” 

Click here to read more of Wyllie’s thoughts, and the thoughts of five other notably placed people on the current inflationary environment. 

About Author: Kyle G. Horst

Kyle G. Horst is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler, he has worked for a number of daily, weekly, and monthly publications in South Dakota and Texas. With more than 10 years of experience in community journalism, he has won a number of state, national, and international awards for his writing and photography including best newspaper design by the Associated Press Managing Editors Group and the international iPhone photographer of the year by the iPhone Photography Awards. He most recently worked as editor of Community Impact Newspaper covering a number of Dallas-Ft. Worth communities on a hyperlocal level. Contact Kyle G. at [email protected].

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