Chart of the Day: Inflation Continues to Rise in May

The PCE inflation rate jumped again in May:

The core PCE rate, which excludes food and energy, is now above 2 percent for the first time since…15 months ago. So maybe this means there really is some inflationary pressure in the economy, or maybe it doesn’t mean very much at all. It will take the rest of the year to find out. In the meantime, however, this will confirm the Fed in its plan to continue raising interest rates steadily. I suppose I can’t blame them at this point, although given that the average core PCE over the past five years is only 1.9 percent, I still wish they’d be more willing to tolerate a higher upside value for a little longer.

Actually, I wish they’d been more willing to engineer a higher upside back in 2009-12, but they either couldn’t or wouldn’t. At this point, the economy is back to normal enough that tolerating only a smallish upside probably makes sense again.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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