Janet Yellen: High Rents, Food Prices Drive Negative Outlook

Janet Yellen yesterday pointed to the high prices Americans pay for food and rent today, compared with pre-pandemic levels, as a major factor driving voters’ negative outlook on the economy. Via CNBC:

“Although prices in general are rising less quickly, Americans still see increases in some important prices, including food, from where we were prior to the pandemic. And this remains notable to people who go to the store and shop,” Yellen said on CNBC’s Squawk Box Monday.

As overall inflation rates have come down over the past year, food prices have consistently outpaced baseline inflation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are lots of reasons for this, ranging from the war in Ukraine’s impact on grain prices to restaurants charging higher prices for menu items.

Rent price inflation also remains stubbornly high. “Rents are rising less quickly now, but are certainly higher than they were before the pandemic,” said Yellen.

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