Inflation Slightly Up, But Still Pretty Subdued


Tyler Cowen notes this morning that core inflation is now running around 2.3 percent, its highest rate since 2008. “As I’ve been saying, I see very little chance of an aggregate demand-based recession this year, the Fed’s December interest rate hike was not an obvious mistake, and we are not in any operative way in a liquidity trap right now.”

Perhaps so. But the Fed uses trimmed mean PCE as its preferred measure of inflation, and this hit 1.86 percent in January. True, it’s been drifting slightly upward for the past year, but so far the only sign of escalating inflation is a single month that’s about a tenth of a point higher than the average of the past couple of years. I’m happy to see the economy show signs of inflation, no matter how minuscule, but I’d probably wait a bit before drawing any conclusions from this. There’s no reason for the Fed to react in a panic every time inflation comes anywhere close to their target rate.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.