How are we doing on inflation these days? Should the Fed be worried enough about it to raise interest rates even further?
It sure doesn’t seem like it. Here are two charts. The first one shows core inflation (inflation less food and energy), the preferred measure of the Fed. It’s been hovering around their target rate of 2 percent for more than six years, and both of the major measures of inflation are currently within a few tenths of a point of 2 percent.
The future looks equally placid. Expectations of future inflation have been pretty steady for the past six years, and are currently within a few tenths of a point of 2 percent.
In neither case is there any sense of acceleration, nor even of upward movement. Core inflation itself has been bobbling around 2 percent for years, while inflationary expectations have been declining steadily. If there’s any reason to be fearful of accelerating inflation in the near future, it sure isn’t visible in the numbers themselves.