Raw Data: Inflation and Expected Inflation

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.


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend


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.


Support our journalism

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


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.