Inflation Expectations and the Fed

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The Cleveland Fed has released its latest estimates of expected inflation, and Matt Yglesias thinks it’s good news for the Fed:

I’d say it looks like mission accomplished for the FOMC. Relative to last month, short-term expectations are meaningfully higher indicating a coordination of expectations along a higher demand equilibrium. But long-term expectations remain “anchored” exactly where they were.

As you can see in the modified version of the chart on the right, 1-year inflation expectations have gone up from 1.6 percent to 2.1 percent, while 10-year inflation expectations have remained anchored at 1.5 percent.

But I’m not sure what this tells us. The data is for the first day of the month, so the jump in the chart is from November 1 to December 1. That’s obviously not the result of Wednesday’s Fed announcement. Likewise, September’s Fed announcement should show up as a change in expectations between September 1 and October 1, but inflation expectations declined between those two dates. I’d like to hear more about this from the folks who follow this closely, but to me it looks more like random month-to-month noise than anything else.

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WHO DOESN’T LOVE A POSITIVE STORY—OR TWO?

“Great journalism really does make a difference in this world: it can even save kids.”

That’s what a civil rights lawyer wrote to Julia Lurie, the day after her major investigation into a psychiatric hospital chain that uses foster children as “cash cows” published, letting her know he was using her findings that same day in a hearing to keep a child out of one of the facilities we investigated.

That’s awesome. As is the fact that Julia, who spent a full year reporting this challenging story, promptly heard from a Senate committee that will use her work in their own investigation of Universal Health Services. There’s no doubt her revelations will continue to have a big impact in the months and years to come.

Like another story about Mother Jones’ real-world impact.

This one, a multiyear investigation, published in 2021, exposed conditions in sugar work camps in the Dominican Republic owned by Central Romana—the conglomerate behind brands like C&H and Domino, whose product ends up in our Hershey bars and other sweets. A year ago, the Biden administration banned sugar imports from Central Romana. And just recently, we learned of a previously undisclosed investigation from the Department of Homeland Security, looking into working conditions at Central Romana. How big of a deal is this?

“This could be the first time a corporation would be held criminally liable for forced labor in their own supply chains,” according to a retired special agent we talked to.

Wow.

And it is only because Mother Jones is funded primarily by donations from readers that we can mount ambitious, yearlong—or more—investigations like these two stories that are making waves.

About that: It’s unfathomably hard in the news business right now, and we came up about $28,000 short during our recent fall fundraising campaign. We simply have to make that up soon to avoid falling further behind than can be made up for, or needing to somehow trim $1 million from our budget, like happened last year.

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