Calm down! Recent inflation reports have caused alarm and, frankly, overreaction. The overall Consumer Price Index increased again in May, bringing the rate over the last 12 months to 5.0%. It was the largest 12-month increase since a 5.4% rise observed in August 2008, during the midst of the Great Recession. The index for all items less food and energy rose 3.8%, the largest annualized increase since June 1992.
In a few speeches and scribblings of late, I have noted that we appear on the cusp of a new Roaring Twenties, similar to that emerging a century ago in the wake of the Spanish flu (hopefully without any expectation that I will master the Charleston). That modest projection inevitably raises the question: "If we roar like the 1920s, will we then fall through the floor like the Great Depression of the 1930s?" The answer is quite simple – No!!