Has US Inflation Finally, Truly Peaked?

Has US Inflation Finally, Truly Peaked?
Paul Allison, CFA

over 1 year ago1 min

At the gas pump, Americans have seen some pretty clear hints that inflation is past its peak and that prices generally may be heading lower. You can see that in this chart: gasoline prices have slid sharply from recent highs, from more than $5 a gallon to less than $4.

While Europe braces itself for a winter of painful price rises, there's growing confidence across the pond that the worst may have passed. We’ll know more when the US consumer price index – i.e. the country’s key inflation gauge – is released on Tuesday.

Gasoline prices are just one part of the whole inflation picture, mind you, but they’re a real point of focus for US consumers. For one thing, Americans drive a lot more than people in other places – roughly 16,000 miles a year, according to a (pre-pandemic) 2019 study by the Frontier Group. That’s about double the average miles driven by motorists in Italy, France, or Germany.

Other prices (like food, rent, and mortgage costs) would need to follow suit before the US can declare victory in its inflation battle, but, for now, there are at least some positive signs to cling to. The same can’t be said for Europe yet...

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