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Inflation is cooling, but don’t tell that to Americans. Even after a year-over-year rise in consumer prices slowed to 7.7% in October from a 40-year high of 9.1% in June, consumers still aren’t feeling optimistic that inflation will wane anytime soon. And in a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy, this could keep inflation buoyed and the Federal Reserve raising rates to tamp it down, some economists say.
In November, consumers’ expectations for inflation over the next 12 months jumped to 7.2% from 6.9% in October, based on rising gasoline and food prices, according to The Conference Board, a nonprofit that tries to gauge what’s ahead for the economy and help leaders navigate issues affecting businesses. Other well-regarded surveys also showed that Americans have a gloomy view of where inflation is headed. The most optimistic survey, from the University of Michigan, showed inflation expectations changed little last month from October, although they remained elevated.
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