Tuesday, June 15, 2021

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Gina Raimondo:

OK, so, first of all, of course, it’s always possible to be wrong, but we have tools to deal with inflation. The Fed has plenty of tools to deal with inflation, as they have used effectively for a long time.

But, secondly, as you dig deeper into the price index, it really is the case that a few areas are seeing big increases in prices, which is driving the whole index. And those increases are driven primarily because of what we saw through COVID.

So, for example, rental car prices are through the roof. Well, we had a semiconductor shortage, which is stalling the production of cars. So, not surprisingly, everybody is buying rental — excuse me — a used car. And, as a result, used car prices are way up.

Lumber. Lumber prices are through the roof. Well, you’re seeing a massive surge in demand for housing due to COVID, and, not surprisingly, the lumber supply can’t keep up.

So, we monitor this constantly. There are tools to deal with inflation. But, at the moment, there isn’t a lot of data to suggest widespread inflation is a problem.

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